Writing and Film


This course unit is designed to develop an advanced level of competence in analysis and critical production and to reinforce writing /reading competences and theoretical reflection and argumentation skills applied to the study of interart relations. The capacity to build up relations and theoretical problems will be trained through the analysis of the selected works and themes.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Clara Maria Abreu Rowland


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


  • CAVELL, Stanley, Contesting Tears: The Hollywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman. University of Chicago Press, 1996.
  • CLOAREC, Nicole (ed.), Lettres de cinéma. De la missive au film-lettre. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2007.
  • CONLEY, Tom, Film Hieroglyphs: Ruptures in Classical Cinema. University of Minnesota Press, 1991.
  • DERRIDA, Jacques, La Carte Postale de Socrate à Freud et au-delà. Flammarion, 1980.
  • GAUDREAULT, Andrè, From Plato to Lumière - Narration and Monstration in Literature and Cinema. University of Toronto Press, 2009.
  • ROWLAND, Clara e CONLEY, Tom (eds.), Falso movimento: ensaios sobre escrita e cinema. Edições Cotovia, 2016.
  • SIEGERT, Bernhard, Relays. Literature as an Epoch of Postal System. Stanford University Press, 1999.

Teaching method

Classes combine theoretical and practical activities, including lecturing, group discussion and the students’s participation. A set of films will be commented and discussed in class, complemented by assigned viewings.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Method - Participation in classes and individual write work.(30%), Written Essay(70%)

Subject matter

"All I want from this post-office is delivery, not philosophy" (Max Ophuls, The Reckless Moment). The aim of this seminar is to interrogate the theoretical implications of the relations between writing and film through the particular figure of the letter, set against the background of a broader view of the representation of writing from silent to modern film. If literary depictions of epistolarity can be taken as reflexive figures for literature, it may be interesting to think of representations of letters and epistolary practices within film as disruptive moments in which the tensions between literature and cinema are explicitly questioned and depicted.  Through the detailed analysis of a set of examples particularly relevant to the study of these topics, we will aim at a transversal reading of the role of writing in the work of five filmmakers.