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Sparking History

Many posts on mediateacher.net have dealt with the intersections of social studies and the documentation of lived experiences and historical events that are an intrinsic part of the evolving story and functions of motion picture media.  Each year continues to bring changes to uses and trends in media creation and transmission that produce and mark profound changes on societal trends and the roles of moving image production and comprehension throughout the world.  A year ago, mediateacher featured the post Telling History about grassroots examples of first person documentation of one’s times in the media literacy classroom and then shared subsequent pieces about the ongoing depiction of our tumultuous era for the United States and the world.

darnella frazierThis week, one of the most historically consequential examples of media creation in our time was rightfully noted as the initiating factor in the conviction rendered for the case of the murder of George Floyd.  Darnella Frazier was one of the bystanders at the scene of George Floyd’s death, and soon after she saw what was happening, she began recording it on her phone.  Journalist Rachel Triesman explains, “The 10-minute video she posted to Facebook has since been seen by millions and became a central piece of evidence in Chauvin’s trial.”  Since then, Frazier, 17 at the time of Floyd’s death, has been given an award for courage by PEN America, bestowed by filmmaker Spike Lee

Dolby In the ever-evolving landscapes of education for the era of digital-streaming-and-all-in-between with music, sound design, and current audio evolutions, here are some pieces featuring sound pioneer Thomas Dolby and his current work and perspectives on sound in media — a program at the Peabody Institute and an interview with Mr. Dolby talking about this work and his synth adventures.

Room Tone

Wishing everyone some solid fresh tones in this world with the New Year. Here’s to 2021!

In the meantime, here’s a nice piece on room tone with a neat video, a holiday gift from the folks at Criterion. Cheers!

And yes, the classic.

No Halloween?

Wendell and WildIn the “year without a (real) Halloween,” what more appropriate news could be posted than this “in case you haven’t heard” piece: Henry Selick is director for Wendell and Wild in collaboration with Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key, along with composer Bruno Coulais (who scored Selick’s classic Coraline).  Let’s keep hoping for a release date that’s not too far off: we need this one! 

Earlier this year, Selick received a highly deserved Winsor McKay award from the International Animated Film Society.  Check out this link which features Selick’s induction with a moving introduction from animator Jorge Gutierrez.  

How did a character from Matt Furie’s comic Boy’s Club become one of the mega-memes to end all viral meme characters?  Yup, it’s Pepe the Frog.  Do you even know where Pepe comes from?  How he became a symbol of powerful forces of provocation and extremist alt-right political views today?  And what does its creator have to say about how this came to be and what he can do about it?

If interested, check out more info on the Sundance Award-winning documentary Feels Good Man. Director by Arthur Jones leads us on an investigation of the webverse that many of us, particularly today’s students, inhabit here and now.