From Carver’s Words to Iñárritu’s Screen : Birdman



… What We Talk About When We Talk About Love …

From Carver’s Words to Iñárritu’s Screen : Birdman

A life of brilliant dejection and drunkard waywardness paved the way for Raymond Carver to carve out the short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. A life of brilliant technical inspiration etched Alejandro Gonnarez Iñárritu’s cinematic masterpiece, Birdman.

And in the heart of it all lays the art of adapting fiction to screen with originality. Carver’s story forms the basis and crux of the theatrical reawakening of ex-Birdman’s, the character played by Michael Keaton.

Sparse dialogues and emotional words left unspoken make Carver’s story. Birdman does justice and follows suit. Both expressions of Art form unnerving case studies.

This Crash Course pitches light to the Art of adaptation and reinvention and originality and inspirations, ranging from Carver’s story, the dynamics of American Theatre, Iñárritu’s original voice, and Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema. Here, we understand the function of ignorance for an Artist’s redemption through his Art.

How this course works

The participants can initiate their entry into the text and the film on their own, prior to the Crash Course, but the programme will start with the basics, with a presentation of the historical, artistic and aesthetic background of Carver and Iñárritu, before undertaking a close reading of the text and the film in the sessions.

This course, like all programmes at IST, is designed in view of dynamic exchanges between the instructor and the participants ; therefore interjections, questions, comments and alternative interpretations are invited and encouraged throughout the session, while an interactive time is kept specifically at the end of each study session.

Crash Course

Duration : 2 sessions of 180 minutes
Dates and Times : decided with the participants
Instructor : Akshansh Singh
Modality : Skype Videoconference
Open to : All · No pre-requisites

At IST, a new edition of each course is organised upon 3 confirmed participants


What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Raymond Carver


Alejandro González Iñárritu


Session 1

Understanding the text : What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Debating the title : Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

Hitchcock’s influence : Rope

Session 2

Defining the never ending dilemma of Love through Continuation Shot

Character comparisons and comprehension – text to film

Author to Director : Approach to Art

Session 3

Love’s Influence in falling out of Love : Driving the Plot

The Ending : Text vs Film – the Justification

The healing from Love

Session 4

Birdman’s healing : Theatre

Carver’s healing : Short Story


Akshansh Singh

Akshansh Singh


Experience with the Texts of this Course : 4 years +

Raymond Carver came in touch with me through a New Yorker article published on his posthumous collection Beginners (2009), an unedited version of his acclaimed What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Ever since I read Beginners, I kept on observing Carver’s influence on American cinema. Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993) was entirely based on Carver’s fiction. It is fascinating how short stories translate brilliantly on film. The inner conflict of characters in Carver’s short fiction and how it translates in Birdman is what makes us learn to take hard decisions in life. We oughta learn that, what’s better than a film !

Akshansh Singh is an Indian writer currently based in Dubai.
Discover his courses here.



The financial contribution is open
beyond a minimum amount of

15.00 $

or the equivalent in your local currency
Check the conversion rates here

2 Interactive sessions of Textual Analysis
6 Hours of collective study
Reading Material in soft copy
Instructor’s Notes for each session
HD Audio Recordings of the sessions


A new edition of this course will be organised
upon 3 confirmed registrations