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Cinema and Modern Fiction (5 weeks)

Course Times & Enrolment

Mondays from 20th May 2024 (Code FM201-301) Mondays from
20th May 2024 6:30pm - 8:20pm • (5 classes)
3.23 St Leonard's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: David M. Wingrove AB (Magna) MA BFI Cert
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

As the defining art form of the 20th and 21st centuries, cinema has had a dramatic impact on modern fiction. Come and explore some recent and contemporary authors – Gore Vidal, Manuel Puig, Angela Carter and Paul Auster – through excerpts from the films that inspired them.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment


Content of Course

1. The Film and its Audience

Introduction though selected clips and discussion.

How do audiences respond to cinema and how does it shape our collective imagination?

2. Confessions of a Super Fan

Myra Breckinridge, Gore Vidal.

Classic Hollywood and its allure for critics and fans.

3. Of Fantasy and Freedom

Kiss of the Spider Woman, Manuel Puig.

Film as an outlet for ‘queer’ and other marginal forms of desire.

4. The Eye and the Icon

The Passion of New Eve, Angela Carter.

The iconography of the film star as role model and object of desire.

5. The Invisible Star

The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster.

Films as secret mythology and mystical experience.

Teaching method(s)

All sessions will involve a mixture of lectures and discussions, with selected film clips to illustrate key points. Students will be expected to read a recommended text for all but the first session.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the impact of film upon audiences;
  2. Describe contrasting literary and cinematic genres;
  3. Locate each cinematic and literary work within a social and cultural context;
  4. Evaluate the impact of cinema upon modern fiction.


Core Readings


  • Auster, Paul (2011) The Book of Illusions. London: Faber & Faber
  • Carter, Angela (1982) The Passion of New Eve, London: Virago Modern Classics
  • Puig, Manuel (1991) The Kiss of the Spider Woman. London: Vintage
  • Vidal, Gore (2019) Myra Breckinridge, London: Vintage International

Web Sources


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.