Each year, mediateacher posts pieces that discuss Oscar nominees or winners — often focusing on those under-the-radar treats: animated, live action, and documentary shorts — and today will emphasize a standout category from this year: animated feature film. The lineup of movies nominated in animation highlights a strikingly diverse quintet of movies, including two foreign selections, the French-language My Life as a Zucchini and non-dialogue The Red Turtle; along with a new stop-motion treasure from Laika studios, Kubo and the Two Strings; and two thought-provoking, delightfully spirited Disney CG offerings, Zootopia (discussed in this earlier post) and Moana.
Interestingly, of the three movies, a majority are animated using (relatively) old-school techniques — drawn, 2D animation and figure-based stop motion. Yet again, when it appears that digital advances will steer moviemaking in a particular direction by making things “easier” for craftspeople or “more realistic” for viewers, such as with CG-based animation, filmmakers will return to — and reinvigorate or sometimes reinvent — traditional techniques that help them to communicate the most meaningful and emotionally vibrant expression of their stories.
Posted in Animation | Tagged Academy Awards 2017, Animated Feature Film, CG Animation, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Oscars, Stop-motion, The Red Turtle, Zootopia | Leave a Comment »
Arthur as a title has two great distinctions. (Yes, and a big Dudley Moore hit from a few decades ago. Kinda funny. But odd, for sure.) First, George Harrison’s inimitable punch line to “What do you call this haircut?” in the groundbreaking Richard Lester masterwork and Beatles-style celebration of life and music-making A Hard Day’s Night.
And next, what is easily in the Top 5 of best-ever kids’ TV shows (and really one of the best of any shows): Arthur. Yup, the kids animated show. Endlessly inventive, quirky, character-driven, wittily subversive and provocative, gentle, inspiring, dramatically solid, and consistently brilliant, Arthur is a treasure of children’s programming. You want a major lesson in Media Literacy? — check out The Love Ducks from the episode That’s a Baby Show!
So this recent piece by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featuring his musical collaborator Jon Batiste and some special guests was a real treat. Enjoy!
Posted in Media Literacy | Tagged A Hard Day's Night, Arthur, George Harrison, Jon Batiste, PBS Kids, Richard Lester, Stephen Colbert, The Late Show, The Love Ducks | Leave a Comment »
Do you know the answer to the question? If you are a teacher, do your students? An earlier post on mediateacher.net presented the first female Yemeni director, Khadija Al-Salami — She is a Yemeni Filmmaker in France — and her highly educational and eye-opening movies, including A Stranger in Her Own City (which is featured in Moving Images) and Amina, a portrait of an eleven-year-old Yemeni bride who was accused of murdering her husband at fourteen. For further information from my earlier post, this excellent article titled For the Love of Her Country (by Olivia Snaije) provides powerful insights into the challenges of documentary filmmaking in the context of the intense conflicts that Al-Salami’s war-torn homeland and its people face today, particularly its women.
Posted in Chapter 6 | Tagged A Stranger in her Own City, Amina, Khadija Al-Salami, Olivia Snaije, Yemen | Leave a Comment »
A little touch of Caddyshack in the Oval Office?
Pictures can be worth many words, and as we reflect upon the close of this year, here are a few powerful ones from the White House (and its soon-to-be-leaving inhabitants). Many lessons to be learned here. There are so many legacies to this presidency, so much to be debated and learned and reflected upon for educators and students — and for all citizens of the world, in fact. (And the full photo album by Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza is here.)
Posted in Chapter 6, Media Literacy | Tagged Bill Murray, Chief White House Photographer, Joe Biden, Obama Presidency, Pete Souza | Leave a Comment »
Wondering what to do with the old curved-screen TV in the corner of the cellar or the school’s repurposed A/V closet? Maybe it’s time for an art installation — although you may need the “arcane knowledge” (as NYTimes reporter Jaime Joyce puts it) of a TV repairman (well, at least one as masterful as Chi-Tien Lui).
Posted in Chapter 2, Resources | Tagged Cathode Ray Tube, Chi-Tien Lui, Jaime Joyce, Television, TV repair | Leave a Comment »