From Fiction to Film

Facilitator: Judith Eastman, 217-8819, judeeast@aol.com Dates: Thursdays, January 10– February 28, 2019 Time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Texts: Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy, Isaac Bashevis Singer, class handout. Howards End, E.M. Forster, Penguin Classics, 2000 - $11.00. On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan, Anchor edition, 2018 -$12.70 Presentations: No. The course will be based on class discussion

We have all experienced either loving or hating a film based on a favorite novel or short story. However, do we know very much about the process of moving a fine piece of literature from the page to the screen? In this course we will read and analyze three literary works: "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy," a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer; Howards End, a classic British novel by E. M. Forster; and On Chesil Beach, a contemporary novel by Ian McEwan. We will also explore the process of converting these verbal-medium texts into their visual-medium films: Yentl, screenplay by Barbra Streisand, directed by Barbra Streisand; Howards End, screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, directed by Merchant Ivory; and On Chesil Beach, screen-play by Ian McEwan, directed by Dominic Cooke. Speculating on which parts of the text seem crucial to inclusion in the film, we will then watch and discuss the film. Throughout our discussions, we'll explore when fiction and film share a common path and when their expressive trails necessarily diverge. As a result of this course, we may be more appreciative of a film adaptation when we understand the complexities involved in translating fiction to film.