kids don't care

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

Unread post by SilentsPlease » Wed 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

Unread post by wich2 » Wed 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

Unread post by Daveismyhero » Thu 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!

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Dean Thompson
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Re: kids don't care

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Sun 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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Re: kids don't care

Unread post by rodney4130 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:34 am

Enthusiasm is infectious, and so is a sense of fun. If you approach the films that way, kids will have fun. If it's framed as a chore, or a lecture, they won't. Formats change, but the desire to have a good story told to you does not.

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Re: kids don't care

Unread post by JLNeibaur » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:36 pm

I taught for 30 years, everything from advanced placement to special needs kids, and regularly ran vintage films in the classroom. Toward the end of my career I taught in an inner city school where my students were gang members who had parole officers. The comedies of Chaplin, Keaton, etc., went over exceptionally well. Laurel and Hardy and The 3 Stooges were particular favorites (there wasn't even a problem was to whether it was a Curly, Shemp, or a Joe!). I did present the sessions as history, explaining the era and how films were made back then, etc. And I projected films in 16mm which was a bit of a novelty. But the students always enjoyed them. I also showed vintage features with Cagney (another big favorite) and others. I taught middle school and high school. Retired in 2014.

Now on my Facebook page I provide a link to a vintage comedy on youtube that is used in the classroom of a friend who teaches second graders. We've been doing this for eight years, and the youngsters love them, every year.

So I have had great experiences introducing vintage comedy to younger generations.


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Re: kids don't care

Unread post by Brock Davis » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:17 pm

I've had nothing but positive reactions too. I teach 4th grade and always introduce the topic with The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. (And yes we watch the movie too.) This year, I had finally picked up a 16mm print of A Trip to the Moon, which I had all cued up to play right after they watch it in the book. They loved it.

Last week we watched One Week at inside recess, which is a great film to start on because it is short and packed with gags. They loved it, and like someone else said, they went right up to sit in front of the screen. I always show Big Buisness during the Holidays and The General when we study the Civil War. I imagine I'll pull out a few more this year, as this class seems particularly interested.

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