Russian Lit on the Screen
The course will investigate the relationship between two arts: literature and film. Literary works have always attracted filmmakers. The recent popularity of TV miniseries based on classical works of Russian literature has heated debates on the issues of fidelity and the supposed inferiority of film to literature. We will discuss the limits of artistic freedom in adapting literary original to the screen, cinematic means of the transformation of text into visual narrative, and different approaches to film adaptation analysis. We will examine attempts of Russian filmmakers throughout the history of the Russian/Soviet cinema to adapt various literary genres to the screen: poems, short stories, novels and drama. The course will incorporate readings of the original works of literature and detailed analysis of the cinematic adaptation. In addition to class meetings, weekly screenings will be required.