Film as Literature
(Understanding Modern Media)

Fall Semester 2003


In Film as Literature, the student
as a literary medium.  The focus
analysis of motion picture genre
theory.  In addition, the student
historical evolution of film and
storytelling using video.



will examine the motion picture
of the course will be review and
with the application of critical film
will also learn about the
hands-on experience of visual

One vital component of this course will be the study of the film as literature through screening of selected motion pictures that demonstrate the highest qualities of both literary and visual technique.  This aspect of the course will be accomplished with both full-length motion pictures as well as abbreviated clips from works demonstrating this excellence.  The following is a listing of the full-length motion pictures screened as part of in-class activities:
Film Noir

Double Indemnity
Sunset Boulevard


The Elephant Man
Bonnie and Clyde


Some Like It Hot
American Grafitti


Whatever Happened to Baby Jane


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Musical Foreign
Meet Me in St. Louis
The Seventh Seal
Black Orpheus
At no time will any screenings exceed District policies concerning “R” rated materials.  If any film appearing on this list is considered unsuitable material for your child to view, please provide me with a written request to excuse your child from the in-class screening, and an alternate assignment will be provided.

Course Information


1.      The student will receive a calendar of activities and assignments for each marking period.

2.      Late work is unacceptable.  All assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on the date assigned. 

3.      Each class will begin with a journal activity.  Students who are tardy or whose absences are unexcused receive a “0” grade mark for that assignment

4.      Makeup work is available for excused absences only.  The excused absence must be documented with the attendance office.  NOTE:  Students who are absent on days in which full-length films are screened will be required to access those films at their own time and expense in order to make up required viewing assignments.  Film screenings are not repeated and videos are not available for the student to borrow.

5.      Do not place assignments in the instructor’s mailbox, unless requested to do.  Many of those assignments seem to “get lost.”  Work not received is the student’s responsibility. 

6.      Food, snacks and beverages (including water) are not permitted in the classroom

7.      Conduct personal business before or after class.  There will be no passes written allowing the student to leave the room, except to see the school nurse.

Feel free to contact me:


Randal Thomas

South High School/Room 225


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