When visiting my local public library recently, the librarians were quite excited to tell me about a new program that they had subscribed to through which patrons will be able to stream films. That led to us talking about film programs that I will be putting together with them, and the head librarian joked that we need to feature the topic that everyone seems to be talking about to get teens to read and engage with storytelling: zombies! Meanwhile, integrating any horror movies into the classroom poses numerous challenges to find school appropriate material that passes the litmus test of the gore-skeptical average teen and that will also be interesting enough thematically.
Well, World War Z, here we come! Yes, here is a mainstream, PG-13 movie that raises some interesting questions and offers lots of avenues for media literacy lessons, including a source novel by Max Brooks that has been an enormous hit with readers. I highly recommend this very thorough set of questions and prompts that Peter Gutierrez posted on his superb blog Connect the Pop (referenced earlier on a mediateacher.net post about super-heroes).
And here is an interview with director Marc Forster (World War Z, Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland).
Finally, I have to add that one of the most fun and successful commercials made by my students last school year was for a fall theatrical production of Night of the Living Dead. They hunger…