kids don't care

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Re: kids don't care

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 12:42 pm

studs68 wrote:I'm forced to give up my elective film history course for my 8th graders.

Did you show them early 3D shorts from the 3D Film Archives? The early color scenes in "A Trip to the Moon?" Silent films with progressive subject matters such as interracial romance in "Broken Blossoms?" Visually-striking avant-garde silent films like "Un chien andalou" and "Entr'acte?" Early silent animation films from Europe and America, e.g. "The Adventures of Prince Ahmed?" For young students like Grade 8, you gotta give them something they think is "cool" to get them hooked.


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Re: kids don't care

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 9:45 pm

Mr.Mycroft wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:
wich2 wrote:
...but he wrote Holmes stories into the 1920s, and set them up until the Great War.

Full marks for being persistent - but the 1920's are not the 1940's are they?

No, but you must remember that the first adaptations to actually place the characters back into the Victorian period were... the two Fox films with Rathbone & Bruce. The character remained more or less contemporaneous with the times in which the films were made, Eille Norwood, Clive Brook, Arthur Wontner, etc were never 'in period.'

Exactly so, Mr. Mycroft! (A point I also made just above you.)
(Sometime Sherlock)
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Re: kids don't care

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 9:37 am

I enjoy the history of the middle ages and classic films; sign me up!
I am not a purist, I am a funist!

Dean Thompson

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Re: kids don't care

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 2:24 pm

At my college I’ve been teaching freshman and upper-level English courses since 1988. Fifteen years ago I added Silent Film to the mix, and Film Noir followed five years later.

Believe it or not, Silent Film goes over better now than it did way back when. Part of it is what I’ve learned from experience: I take a dinner tray to each class meeting and make the students put their smartphones face down on the tray before I screen our film. Ergo, no distractions. A young colleague asked in all seriousness if I were worried about lawsuits. Lawsuits nothing, I replied: I’m the one running the class!

Too, the spate of new releases and restorations and the beautiful clarity of blu-ray have made a great difference in wiping away at least some of the patina of (and prejudice against) Old and Outdated. Wings, for example, used to get only a so-so reception on VHS; now it goes over like gangbusters, as do the restored Trip to the Moon and Gold Rush.

But I’m especially grateful to Martin Scorses and Michel Hazanavicius, whose Hugo and The Artist make beautiful bookends for the course. We watch Hugo for contextualization before we go back to Lumiere, Melies, Porter, Griffith, and Blache; and when the students watch Artist at the end of the semester, they know their Fairbanks and, in Peppy’s scene with Valentin’s coat, catch the homage to Stella Maris. It’s the one film in the course that gets spontaneous applause at The End.

I’m still working out some things; the students never have taken to Potemkin or Nosferatu. But the films they respond to best—Caligari, Last Command, and Sunrise—they recall years later at Homecoming weekend. So there's hope.

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