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Maltese Falcon
Death of a Salesman
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Taxi Driver
Life Lessons*
Blue Velvet
Into The Wild
*extra credit


Film Style & Literature
ENG 124 Online
Summer 2014
Professor Bill McBride

All Students Must Watch This Video Before Proceeding With ENG 124

WARNING! The content of the films and books in this class
are designed for mature audiences only. If issues of race, sex, violence,
class, drugs, profanity or politics cause you discomfort or upset, please
consider enrolling in a different class.

Fun Course! You'll see movies in a different way, but it's a lot of work, particularly when squeezed into one summer month. Please be prepared to work every weekday.

Caddyshack (Screwball)
Maltese Falcon (Noir)
Notorious Vertigo Psycho
Death of a Salesman Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Taxi Driver Life Lessons Blue Velvet Into the Wild

Extra Credit
Miss Julie
Life Lesson

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus. Continue to consult this site
and "Announcements" in ReggieNet throughout the semester.

Log into click on ReggieNet's ENG 124 Summer
Session to find announcements, assignments and due dates, films, submit essays/postings, etc.

Course Title:   Film Style & Literature Professor:
Course Number: ENG 124     Bill McBride
Credit Hours:       3      Telephone 438-7998

Professor Bill McBride 

When emailing me within ReggieNet be sure to click the "Send cc" button to send it to my regular InBox since I do not check ReggieNet email as often. My account is instantly forwarded to my account which I regularly check.

Think of this course as an intensive English Department literature course in which
you write essays in a "foreign" language--the language of film. The theory of Film
& Literature argues that style can be described, analyzed, and turned into
meaning via metaphor. Your goal is to acquire adequate film vocabulary and skill to
convert your observations of camera placement and movement, lighting, spatial
relationships, soundtrack, etc. into an analysis of the meaning of a "stylized moment"
and, from that, of the film as a whole. Do not be misled by the fact that this is a
100 level General Education course--it is nonetheless challenging.

It is essential to understand that all "stylized" and "significant" moments
carry meaning, however not all significant moments are cinematically stylized--
see Guide to Writing Papers and eTextbook.


Purchase Textbook and read the Preface and Chapter One

Stylized Moments: Turning Film Style Into Meaning

Discussion Forums

Follow this schedule of films throughout the semester.
Each student needs to watch each scheduled film in ReggieNet's "Resources and Materials."

How to Screen Films:
Step 1: When you click on the movie title (using Firefox) you will see a blank screen. Bring your cursor up to the address window and click on the shield icon. Click on the "Keep Blocking" drop down menu and click "Disable Protection on this Page." See screen shot below:

Step 2: The film will upload onto your computer and you will see the black box and Play button. Click that and be sure to click the "Full Screen" mode at the bottom. (See screen shot below).

The University streams these films and reproduction is not of the best quality, but they are watchable. Many of these films are available elsewhere online and of higher resolution, etc. Be sure to use the ReggieNet version for locating time stamps in your essays and posts.

Once you have watched the film, then read the corresponding chapter in Stylized Moments-Turning Film Style Into Meaning. Before posting your response, read each post by classmates who have preceded you (if any), and then submit an original post that identifies (both plotwise and with a time stamp), and discusses 1 example of a cinematically stylized moment—those meaningful moments only achievable cinematically—and 1 example of a meaningful moment not dependent on the language of film. 250-word minimum. It is ok to use moments discussed in the textbook as long as you acknowledge your source. You need to quote or paraphrase the textbook's definition of the technical terms and apply to your example what such a cinematic choice usually means. Students who repeat moments already discussed by a classmate will not receive credit.

There are two exceptions to these directions

1-The first assignment, Preface/Film Conventions & Metaphors: Stylized Moments, asks you to read the Intro and first chapter of the textbook, read each post by classmates who have preceded you (if any), and then submit a post that will identify (film, plot point, time stamp) and discuss 2 examples of cinematically stylized moments—those meaningful moments only achievable cinematically—and 2 examples of meaningful moments not dependent on the language of film. 350 word minimum.

2-The Hitchcock assignment is a study session intended to prepare you for your Psycho essay exam. Hitchcock-Notorious/Vertigo requires you to watch both films, read the corresponding chapters in Stylized Moments-Turning Film Style Into Meaning, read each post by classmates who have preceded you (if any), and then submit a post that identifies (both plotwise and with a time stamp) and discusses 1 example of a cinematically stylized moment only from one of these two films.
Guide to Writing Essays

All Students must read this document closely and completely before writing papers.

Students may not choose those assignments (regardless of the point
value) they wish to complete.
All Responses to Films/eTextbook sections and the
the 2 assigned essays must be completed on time.
Be sure to post well before the due time/date.

Grading Equation

8 pts. Preface/Film Conventions & Metaphors-Stylized Moments Chapter 1
4 pts. Caddyshack
4 pts. Maltese Falcon
2 pts. Hitchcock-Notorious/Vertigo
4 pts. Death of a Salesman
4 pts. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
4 pts. Taxi Driver
4 pts. Blue Velvet

30 pts. Psycho Essay Exam
1 pt. Final Thesis Statement
35 pts. Into the Wild Essay Exam
100 pts

EXTRA CREDIT posts (in Assignments)
3 pts. Miss Julie
3 pts. Life Lessons
3 pts. Stagecoach
3 pts. Dutchman


You must read carefully the
Guide to Writing Essays before each essay is due.
-All work is to be composed and typed by the student directly into the message box
provided in ReggieNet--do not attach word files.

- A minimum of Eight Chapter/Film Responses throughout the semester under the "Discussion Forums" link in ReggieNet. Informal blog style acceptable.

-Two Essays posted under the "Assignments" link in ReggieNet composed of clear, coherent, well written and logically argued, evidence-based theses. I must grade each student's ability to accurately describe specific moments using technical language from the eTextbook and argue convincingly using consistent logic and precise prose.

-All films are digitized within ReggieNet in "Resources & Materials".

Required Texts

Stylized Moments: Turning Film Style Into Meaning  [2013] eTextbook

Available @ Bookstores, Smashwords & Milner

Available ebook reading formats:

Full book Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps
including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
RTF (readable on most word processors)
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)
Plain Text (viewable as web page)

Images for each Chapter are in "Resources & Materials" via ReggieNet

Into The Wild (1996) by Jon Krakauer
(@ bookstore)

Recommended Texts @ Bookstores

The Maltese Falcon [1930] 
Dashiell Hammett


Psycho [1959] Robert Bloch

Death of a Salesman [1949]

 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1962]



        Taxi Driver Script not required
The following texts are digitized in Course Content/ReggieNet

"Stage to Lordsburg" by Ernest Haycox (Colliers Magazine, 1937) (Stagecoach)

Recommended Texts

"Dragon" for "The Song of the Dragon" by John Taintor Foote Serialized in Saturday Evening Post (November 1921) (Notorious)

"Notorious" for "The Woman Who Was Known Too Much" from
Tania Modleski's The Women Who Knew Too Much

"Vertigo" for "Femininity By Design" from Tania Modleski's The Women Who Knew Too Much

"Quantrill & Siouxie" for "Master of the Unesolved" by Jay Alan Quantrill & Siouxie lyrics

"The Living & the Dead parts 1 &2" (Vertigo)

Hamlet [1601] William Shakespeare on-line HAMLET (Blue Velvet)

All Students must read the following:

Cheating and/or plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Please read closely Guide to Writing Papers for explanations of rules. You may be prosecuted to the full extent of University administrative procedures if you are caught engaging in these activities. You cannot turn in someone else’s work, the same paper for two classes, nor a previously composed paper of your own. You must acknowledge all sources in your papers. Any time you use direct quotations or paraphrases, or borrow ideas or structures, including lectures, you must cite your source. Failure to do so will result in an F for the entire course. I will pursue any evidence of plagiarism and report academic dishonesty to the dean of the college of the student in question. Charges of plagiarism become part of the student's permanent file and can be grounds for dismissal from the university.

The following material is from Illinois State Uninversity's UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG

p. 65 Academic Policies and Practices


Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A student’s name on any academic exercise (theme, report, notebook, paper, examination) shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the student’s own thought and study. Offenses involving academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

                   a. Cheating on quizzes or examinations occurs when any student is found using or attempting to use any book, paper, or other article, or assistance from any individual intending to deceive the person in charge of the quiz or examination with reference to his or her work. No books, notes, papers or related articles shall be used at any quiz or examination unless specifically authorized by the person in charge. Conversation or other communication between individuals in examinations and quizzes is forbidden except as authorized by the instructor.

                   b. Computer dishonesty is the unacknowledged or unauthorized appropriation of another’s program, or the results of that program, in whole or in part, for a computer-related exercise or assignment.

                   c. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged appropriation of another’s work, words, or ideas in any themes, outlines, papers, reports, or computer programs. Students must ascertain from the instructor in each course the appropriate means of documentation. Submitting the same paper for more than one course is considered a breach of academic integrity unless prior approval is given by the instructors.

                   d. Grade falsification is any attempt to falsify an assigned grade in an examination, quiz, report, program, grade book, or any other record or document.

                   e. Collusion occurs when students willfully give or receive unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance on any assignment. This may include the reproduction and/or dissemination of test materials. Both parties to the collusion are considered responsible. No individual may substitute for another in any quiz or examination.  

For more information consult the Community Rights and Responsibilities (formerly Student Dispute Resolution) Web site at:

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus

The course ENG 124 is in the Middle Core -
Language in the Humanities category of the
General Education Program

The learning outcomes and corresponding goals of this course are:
Learning Outcome: Critical Inquiry and Problem Solving
Students will develop and communicate a range of interests and curiosities,
engaging those through critical thinking, reasoning, and problem solving.
General Education Goals
Provide for the systematic development of critical thinking, quantitative
reasoning, and communication skills. As a result, students will be able to:
Critically evaluate a wide variety of ideas and express that analysis in both
writing and speaking.
Learning Outcome: Public Opportunity
Students will identify the resources and articulate the subsequent value
of civic and community engagement.
General Education Goals
Develop the ability to function as a responsible participant in the social,
economic, technological, and political dimensions of life within local,
national, and global communities. As a result students will be able to:
Analyze the meaning and purpose of individual and social life, focusing on
such concepts or institutions s family, religion, business, and the state.
Learning Outcome: Diverse and Global Perspectives
Students will be exposed to diverse and global perspectives by developing
and communicating an appreciation for their impact in personal and
professional lives.
General Education Goals
Develop a critical appreciation of a wide range of aesthetic experiences.
As a result, students will be able to:
Formulate interpretations of diverse forms of creative expression.
Understand the role of the individual as creator in diverse depth of human
Learning Outcome: Life-Long Learning
Students will utilize the skills indicative of an effective life-long learner,
actively pursuing knowledge, and learning how to use their knowledge in
interdisciplinary approaches.
General Education Goals
Focus on the acquisition and application of a common core of knowledge,
drawn from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. As a result,
students will be able to:
Recognize the significant events, ideas, individuals, artifacts, and institutions
that have shaped our knowledge of the world.
Assess the relative value of literacy and artistic works for themselves and for
contemporary society.
Integrate general education with the major through the identification,
exploration, and development of common dimensions.


Guide to Writing Papers

Merriam-Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus

IMDB Glossary

Internet Movie DataBase

Project Gutenberg

Home ] Caddyshack ] Maltese Falcon ] Stagecoach] Notorious] Vertigo ] Death of a Salesman ] Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf ] Dutchman ] Taxi Driver ] Blue Velvet]