Film As Literature



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Kenwood Academy English Department

Film As Literature

Instructor: Ms. Barbara A. Bennett

English Office: (773) 535-1379/80, Email: babennett@cps.edu

Credit: 1 Credit Hour


Course Description: Film As Literature is a Junior- and Senior-level elective English course designed to increase students' awareness of their movie viewing habits and to expand their knowledge of movie history and technology as well as to develop students' practical ability to recognize, reflect on, and communicate film's basic narrative and technical elements. Films are not simply "watched"; they are critically viewed.
Course Objectives: Students learn to critically view and appreciate the technical and historical development of the world cinema, different movie genres, and the director as "auteur." The course will focus on broadening the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze film as an artistic and entertainment media.
Class Expectations: Students will come to class each day with IDs, on time with required materials--paper, pen, worksheets, handouts, course folder--ready to work productively. Students will treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Students will follow all school/CPS Board rules.
Course Outcomes: By the completion of First Quarter, students will gain a better understanding of film's narrative construction through plot structure and screenwriting, the fundamentals of cinematography, the use of CGI and post-production editing techniques, including the use of sound, and how a documentary differs from a narrative film. In addition, students will gain practical experience in the planning, shooting, and editing of their own film as the quarter's primary performance task. Students will further develop their literacy skills through the construction of weekly written film journals, focusing on the analysis and evaluation of technical and literary devices found in films. By the completion of Second Quarter, students will gain a better understanding of the historical and technical advances in filmmaking, through examination of the pre-sound era, the rise of the Hollywood Studio System and its dissolution, the growth of independent filmmakers, and the influence of special effects. See first quarter above for second quarter performance task and literacy skills outcomes. By the completion of Third Quarter, students will gain a better understanding of film genre, focusing on the Gangster Film and its: history, characteristics, depiction of violence, and effect on mainstream culture. See first 1uarter above for third quarter performance task and literacy skills outcomes. By the completion of Fourth Quarter, students will gain a better understanding of the director as auteur through an in-depth analysis of Spike Lee and his body of work. See first 1uarter above for fourth quarter performance task and literacy skills outcomes.
Course Alignment: Each quarter's primary performance task and the course's formative assessments, including worksheets, discussions, and notetaking, and summative assessments are underpinned by the scope and sequence of the skills inherent in the ACT College Readiness Standards and the Common Core Standards for Reading and Writing.

See attached charts.


Materials: Film: An Introduction (1999, Bedford/St. Martin's), worksheets, handouts
Anticipated Film Viewings in Class: Vantage Point (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Pulp Fiction (1994), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Schindler's List (1994), Domino (2005), Run, Lola, Run (1999), Psycho (1960), Bully (2013), The Fall (2006), The Great Train Robbery (1903), A Century of Black Cinema (2003), City Lights (1931), Casablanca (1942), Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Matrix (1999), Murder on a Sunday Morning (2003), The Artist (2011), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Red Tails (2012), The Searchers (1956), Dances with Wolves (1990), Scarface (1931), Scarface (1983), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Bonnie & Clyde (1967), Godfather I & II (1972/1974), Goodfellas (1990), Menace II Society (1993), Tsotsi (2005), School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Get on the Bus (1996), 4 Little Girls (1997), Bamboozled (2000), Inside Man (2006), Miracle at St. Anna's (2008), Red Hook Summer (2012).
Grading Criteria: Students earn points for every classroom and homework assignment, project, quiz, and test in addition to points for classroom participation, punctuality, and attendance. Fifty percent (50%) of the grade is based on classroom participation and assignments and fifty percent (50%) is based on homework assignments, ie: film journals, examinations, and quarterly projects.

Film As Literature Grading Percentages Per Quarter




Classwork and Participation

50%

Film Journals

20%

Project

15%

Quarterly Examination

10%

Quizzes

5%



Late Work: Late work will be accepted up to the ninth (or second-to-the-last) week of each quarter. Please note that late work is penalized with a loss of 25%.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend class every day. In the event of an excused absence, students must follow school procedures and are responsible for making up missed assignments. Being absent does NOT excuse one from an assignment even if the absence is excused. Arrangements must be made to make up missed examinations outside of class time. Unexcused absences and chronic tardiness will negatively impact grades according to the CPS promotion policy. Please note that a large percentage of class consists of film viewings. There is NO practical provision for making up film viewings at school. Students are responsible for viewing "missed" films on their own. The teacher will not provide DVDs. (Most films are readily available at the public library or rental outlets.) Film-viewing worksheets, vocabulary sheets, and journal/project requirements and rubrics are available online at the school website.
Honor Code: This is a learning environment. Students must practice common courtesy in order to ensure the best experience for everyone in the class. In addition, plagiarism is theft, and will NOT be tolerated in any form, resulting in an automatic 0% on assignments.
Contact Information: Teacher Preparatory Periods: 2, 6, 8. Office hours are available by appointment. English Office Phone: (773) 535-1379/80, Kenwood's Main Office Phone: (773) 535-1350; Email: babennett@cps.edu, Principal: gljones@cps.edu.

First Quarter: September 2 – November 6, 2014 (10 Weeks)

Due Dates*: Sept. 11: 1 Journal; Oct. 9 4 Journals; Oct. 23: 1 Project; Oct. 31: 4 Journals; Oct. 30/31: Final

Techniques of Filmmaking

Introduction to Story, Plot, Narrative; Intro to Screenwriting; Intro to Cinematography; Computer Generated Images (CGI) and Editing; Editing II, Editing III; Editing and Sound (Including Post Production); Documentary.



Film Viewings in Class

Class: Vantage Point (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Pulp Fiction (1994), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Schindler's List (1994), Domino (2005), Run, Lola, Run (1999), Psycho (1960), Bully (2013), The Fall (2006).




Second Quarter: November 10, 2014 - January 29, 2015 (10 Weeks)

Due Dates*: Dec. 11: 4 Journals; Jan 8: 4 Journals; Jan. 15: Project; Jan. 22/23: Final

History of Filmmaking and the Mini-Genre Study

Pre-1920s/Silent; 1920s/1930s; 1940s; 1950s; 1960s; 1970s; 1980s; 1990s; 2000+.



Film Viewings in Class

The Great Train Robbery (1903), A Century of Black Cinema (2003), City Lights (1931), Casablanca (1942), Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Matrix (1999), Murder on a Sunday Morning (2003), The Artist (2011), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Red Tails (2012), The Searchers (1956), Dances with Wolves (1990).

Third Quarter: February 2 – April 2, 2015 (9 Weeks)

Due Dates*: Feb. 19: 6 Journals; March 12: 3 Journals; March 19: Project; March 26/27: Final

Genre Study: The Gangster Film

History of the Gangster Film; Characteristics of a Gangster Film; B/W v. Color; The Depiction of Violence; Film Noire; The Gangster's Film Effect on Mainstream Culture; The International Gangster Film.



Film Viewings in Class

Scarface (1931), Scarface (1983), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Bonnie & Clyde (1967), Godfather I & II (1972/1974),

Goodfellas (1990), Menace II Society (1993), Tsotsi (2005).


Fourth Quarter: April 13 - June 16, 2015 (9 Weeks)

Due Dates*: April 23: 6 Journals; May 7: 2 Journals; May 14: Project; May 22/23: Final

The Film Director as Auteur: Spike Lee

Analysis of Lee and His Work; Lighting, Camera Distance, Camera Movement, Editing Style, Use of Dialogue, Use of Music, Mise-en-Scene, Plot Structure, Plot Conflicts/Resolutions, Character Development, and Symbolism.



Film Viewings in Class

School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Get on the Bus (1996), 4 Little Girls (1997), Bamboozled (2000), Inside Man (2006), Miracle at St. Anna's (2008), Red Hook Summer (2012).
*Due dates are tentatively scheduled and may change.

KENWOOD ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL



PARENTAL PERMISSION FORM FOR MOVIES 2014-2015
Teacher Name: Barbara A. Bennett Class: Film As Literature
Dear Parent/Guardian,
Your student will view the following movies in Film As Literature class: Vantage Point (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Pulp Fiction (1994), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Schindler's List (1994), Domino (2005), Run, Lola, Run (1999), Psycho (1960), Bully (2013), The Fall (2006), The Great Train Robbery (1903), A Century of Black Cinema (2003), City Lights (1931), Casablanca (1942), Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Matrix (1999), Murder on a Sunday Morning (2003), The Artist (2011), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Red Tails (2012), The Searchers (1956), Dances with Wolves (1990), Scarface (1931), Scarface (1983), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Bonnie & Clyde (1967), Godfather I & II (1972/1974), Goodfellas (1990), Menace II Society (1993), Tsotsi (2005), School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Get on the Bus (1996), 4 Little Girls (1997), Bamboozled (2000), Inside Man (2006), Miracle at St. Anna's (2008), Red Hook Summer (2012), Lee Daniel’s The Butler beginning on August 26, 2013. I want to assure you that these films connect to the curriculum and to the content that we have been learning about in class. However, some of these movies have been rated "R" by the Motion Picture Association of America. For a more detailed description of movie ratings, you may visit: http://www.mpaa.org. A brief description follows:
R - Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian, An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R0rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violent, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse, or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.
Please sign this slip for your student to have permission to view these films in class. In addition, to aid communication, please fill out the rest of this form with your phone and/or email information in case I need to contact you. If you have any questions about the content of these movies or the connection to the curriculum, you may call me at (773) 535-1579/80 or email me at babennett@cps.edu.
I give permission for student, ______________________________________________________________________________,

to view the above movies in class. In addition, I have read the course syllabus and understand the course requirements and grading criteria for my student.


Parent/Guardian Signature: ________________________________________________________ Date: __________________
Home Phone: ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Work Phone: ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Cell Phone: ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Course Alignment of CCR Reading and CCR Writing Per Quarter


Reading

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Main Ideas and Author’s Approach

Identify a clear main idea or purpose of any paragraph or paragraphs in uncomplicated passages.



X

X

X

X

Infer the main idea or purpose of straightforward paragraphs in more challenging passages.

X

X

X

X

Summarize basic events and ideas in more challenging passages.

X

X

X

X

Understand the overall approach taken by an author or narrator (e.g., point of view, kinds of evidence used) in more challenging passages.

X

X

X

X

Supporting Details

Locate important details in more challenging passages.



X

X

X

X

Locate and interpret minor or subtly stated details in uncomplicated passages.

X

X

X

X

Discern which details, though they may appear in different sections throughout a passage, support important points in more challenging passages.

X

X

X

X

Sequential, Comparative, and Cause-Effect Relationships

Order sequences of events in uncomplicated passages.



X

X

X

X

Understand relationships between people, ideas, and so on in uncomplicated passages.







X

X

Identify clear relationships between characters, ideas, and so on in more challenging literary narratives.

X

X

X

X

Understand implied or subtly stated cause-effect relationships in uncomplicated passages.













Identify clear cause-effect relationships in more challenging passages.













Meaning of Words

Use context to determine the appropriate meaning of virtually any word, phrase, or statement in uncomplicated passages.















Use context to determine the appropriate meaning of some figurative and nonfigurative words, phrases, and statements in more challenging passages.













Generalizations and Conclusions

Draw subtle generalizations and conclusions about characters, ideas, and so on in uncomplicated literary narratives.















Draw generalizations and conclusions about people, ideas, and so on in more challenging passages.













Writing

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Expressing Judgments

Show clear understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task by taking a position on the specific issue in the prompt and offering a critical context for discussion



X

X

X

X

Show understanding of the complexity of the issue in the prompt by

 examining different perspectives, and/or

 evaluating implications or complications of the issue, and/or

 posing and fully discussing counter-arguments to the

writer's position


X

X

X

X

Focusing on the Topic

Maintain a clear focus on discussion of the specific topic and issue in the prompt throughout the essay.



X

X

X

X

Present a critical thesis that clearly establishes the focus on the writer's position on the issue.

X

X

X

X

Developing a Position

Develop several ideas fully, using specific and relevant reasons, details, and examples.



X

X

X

X

Show effective movement between general and specific ideas and examples.

X

X

X

X

Organizing Ideas

Provide unity and coherence throughout the essay, often with a logical progression of ideas.









X

X

Use relevant transitional words, phrases, and sentences to convey logical relationships between ideas.

X

X

X

X

Present a well-developed introduction and conclusion.

X

X

X

X

Using Language

Show effective use of language to clearly communicate ideas by

 correctly employing most conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, with just a few, if any, errors

 using precise and varied vocabulary



 using a variety of kinds of sentence structures to vary pace and to support meaning

X

X

X

X



Course Alignment of CCSS Reading Per Quarter





Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

X

X

X

X

2. Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.







X

X

3. Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

X

X

X

X

4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

X

X

X

X

5. Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

X

X

X

X

6. Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

X

X

X

X

7. Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)







X

X

8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

X

X

X

X

9. Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

X

X

X

X

10. By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.

X

X

X

X


Course Alignment of CCSS Writing Per Quarter





Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims,

reasons, and evidence.

b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge

level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.









X

X

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.

c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.

e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).


X

X

X

X

3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

a. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth

progression of experiences or events.

b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).

d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.


X

X

X

X

4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

X

X

X

X

5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 11–12 on page 54.)

X

X

X

X

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

X

X

X

X

7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question(including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.







X

X

8. Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and over reliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

X

X

X

X

9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a. Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts

from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).

b. Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning [e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court Case majority opinions and dissents] and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy [e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses]”).









X

X

10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

X

X

X

X

Name _________________________________________________________________________ Period ________


My favorite movie is: _____________________________________________________________________because

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Name _________________________________________________________________________ Period ________


My favorite movie is: _____________________________________________________________________because

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