Prof: Paul Watkins
Location: Nanaimo (200.203)
Class Hours:  Monday 6 pm – 9 pm
Office Hours: Wednesday 10 am – 12 pm
Phone: Ext. 2118
Office: 345. 204

“I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians.”
–Francis Ford Coppola

ENGL 396 looks at the relationship between literature and film by examining an enduring question that precedes them both: what does it mean to be human? We will read books and critical essays alongside films, and investigate the major cultural influence and cultural production of literary adaptation. Through reading, watching, talking, and writing—while applying literary and film theory —we will examine the mysterious way that a story (or various stories and ideas) can become something completely new when adapted for the screen.

Films and Source Texts:

  • Blade Runner, Ridley Scott / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
  • Moonlight, Barry Jenkins / In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney
  • Selected Scenes and articles in relation to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange
  • Brazil, Terry Gilliam / Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Bruce Miller (Hulu) / The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • In Cold Blood, Richard Brooks / In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Ana Lily Amirpour / Various Sources
  • Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Jeff Barnaby / “The Indian Act” by Canadian Parliament

 Free Introductory Film Texts:


  • Film Review 1 (750-1000 words) 10%
  • Film Review 2 (1000-1250 words) 15% [See changes]
  • Film Project (with proposal and script) 25%
  • Research Essay (3000-3500 words) 35%
  • Final Exam 30%

See paper copy of syllabus for detailed breakdowns of assignments. 

Please note that this schedule is subject to change as the term progresses.

Jan 8
Introduction to film; course outline; standards and expectations; general film discussion

Jan 15 
Reading: Hunter, “Introduction” (D2L); McQueen article on Clockwork (D2L); Austin C. Clarke’s “The Sentinel” (D2L)
Screening: Selected scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange, Dir. Stanley Kubrick

Jan 22
Reading: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

Jan 29
Reading: Scott Bukatman, Blade Runner (selected passages)
Screening: Blade Runner, Dir. Ridley Scott

A short analysis of Blade Runner by Steven Benedict

Feb 5  
Reading: “One Step Ahead: A Conversation With Barry Jenkins” (D2L)
Screening: Moonlight, Dir. Barry Jenkins

Feb 12   
Review 1 due on D2L

Feb 19 
Reading: 1984 by George Orwell
Selected scenes from Radford’s 1984

Feb 26 

March 5
Reading: Rogers, “1984 to Brazil” (D2L)
Screening: Brazil, Dir. Terry Gilliam

  • Roger Ebert’s poor review of Brazil.

March 12   
Reading: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Discussion of Research Essays

March 19
Reading: “The Handmaid’s Tale’ … diverse casting can elevate a classic
Screening: The Handmaid’s Tale, Episodes 1 & 2 (Hulu), Dir. Reed Morano
Film script and concept due on D2L [new date]

March 26
[Class ends at 9:30 pm for this one class]
Reading: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Additional Reading: Tom Wolfe, “Pornoviolence” (D2L); Adams, “Once Convicted, Once Executed” (D2L)
Screening: In Cold Blood, Dir. Richard Brooks         

April 2  
Film Project due April 3rd on VIUTube

April 9
Reading: Abdi and Calafell, “Queer utopias and a (Feminist) Iranian vampire” (D2L)
Screening: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Dir. Ana Lily Amirpour
Exam Review

April 16 
Reading: The Indian Act (1920s)
Articles for Reading:

Screening: Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Dir. Jeff Barnaby

Screening: Student Short Films
Research Paper Due in class or on D2L


ENGL 396 S18N01 Watkins Paul Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:00pm 3.0 hr 200 203