Here are some ideas about literary texts and film from an online workshop participant with thanks to Sahiba Al-issa:
One work that would be interesting to teach is ‘The Road to Perdition’; – a film based on a gangster’s life; I have shown the film to students in my Bachelor in Mass Media classes as it is a powerful film. There is very little dialogue, and, surprisingly, interspersed with violence is a most imaginative use of silence. Then recently, I found it was a graphic novel. Can such a work be taught? I thought It would be perfect for this Option of Literature and Film.
Another work that is a rewarding one to teach is Medea by Euripides. The film by French director Lars Von Trier is a very good adaptation of the play and Medea’s character. The settings used in this black and white version lend an even more sombre effect to the events.
Novels can have a greater impact when adapted into films; Anna Karenina is a supreme example with the film beginning and ending in the same setting – the railway station. The death of Anna on the tracks imitates a that of a man she had seen killed on the tracks at the beginning of the film; the film is a brilliant adaptation of the novel, using symbolism and highlighting the main events in the plot.
There are several other novels that have been immortalized by film adaptations – especially “Far From the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy. The director has chosen to begin the film with a scene depicting Farmer Oak’s loss of all his sheep over the cliff, thus lending a strong sense of the tragic to the film.
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emma – these have been translated beautifully into the film medium and are very rewarding due to their recreation of setting, scene, costume, etc. Critical appreciation of the work of the camera viz-a-viz the writer’s words and the images produced is helpful in honing and developing analytical skills of the students.