Utopian and Dystopian Fiction in Print on the Screen (Utópia és disztópia nyomtatásban és a filmvásznon) in spring 2015
Farkas Ákos, Wed 11:30–14:30, R423/a, host: DES (R338)
5-credit seminar, 60 h/term; strong prereq: BMA-ANGD-A1 A2 A3 A4
description & set texts
The fundamental question we will set out to answer in this course is whether it is possible, or indeed desirable, to make a film version of a piece of (anti-)utopian fiction (novel or short story) which is both faithful to the spirit of the literary original and a valuable artwork in its own right. In short, can fidelity and quality be simultaneously achieved when a work of utopian fiction is adapted to the screen? To find an answer, you will be asked to (re-)read, for every week or every other week, a work of English-language fiction written between the end of the 19th and the middle of the 20th century. Based on your reading we will discuss the thematic concerns and literary merits of the prescribed texts of imaginative prose fiction. One or two notable film adaptation of each utopian text thus covered will be screened together. This is to be followed by a comparison of the texts analysed and the films viewed.


  1. (Feb 11) INTRODUCTION
  2. (Feb 18) ASSIGNMENT OF PRESENTATION TOPICS Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), “The Machine Stops” (E. M. Forster 1928)
  3. (Feb 25) The Machine Stops (Philip Saville 1966)
  4. (Mar 4) The Time Machine (H. G. Wells), H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (George Pal 1960)
  5. (Mar 11) The Time Machine (Simon Wells, David Verbinski 2002)
  6. (Mar 18) Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell 1949), Nineteen Eighty-Four (Michael Anderson 1956) excerpts
  7. (Mar 25) Nineteen Eighty-Four (Michael Radford 1984)
  8. (Apr 01) SPRING HOLIDAY: No classes
  9. (Apr 08) Fahrenheit 451 (R. Bradbury 1953/François Truffault1966)
  10. (Apr 15) Fahrenheit 451 (1953/1966)
  11. (Apr 22) A Clockwork Orange (A. Burgess 1962)
  12. (Apr 29) A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick 1971)
  13. (May 06) The Handmaid’s Tale (M. Atwood 1985, Volker Schlöndorff 1990)
  14. (May 13) The Road (C. McCarthy 2006/J. Hillcoat 2009) or Never Let Me Go (K. Ishiguro 2005/ Mark Romanek 2010)

Recommended secondary reading

Film and adaptation studies

Utopian studies

requirements & assessment