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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

End of moviesWhat is going to happen to the experience of going to the movies?  Over the course of the global spread Covid-19, among the areas of human behavior most affected by the pandemic have been in the venues of the performance arts and the cinema.  Already, impacts of streaming services, home viewing, and related shifts in moving image culture had been causing widespread questions about the future of the experience of moviegoing through large screens in a shared, public venue.  There have been many analyses and editorials on the challenges facing the theatrical motion picture experience, from angles related to business, technology, sociology, creative expression, and beyond.  In addition, there have been many heartfelt expressions of the value and importance of motion pictures as a vital medium of creativity and human expression, and this topic can be a fertile area of dialogue in the classroom.  One such recent piece is by columnist Ross Douthat, titled Is this the End of the Movies? (New York Times, March 27, 2022).  

us jordan peeleIn this piece, Douthat investigates this question in a lively essay that concludes with some interesting suggestions for improving the current crisis of cinematic moviegoing and the viability and importance of feature films in our culture.  Most interestingly for work related to Media Literacy Education is this recommendation: “…Second, an emphasis on making the encounter with great cinema a part of a liberal arts education… at this point, 20th-century cinema is a potential bridge backward for 21st-century young people, a connection point to the older art forms that shaped The Movies as they were. And for institutions, old or new, that care about excellence and greatness, emphasizing the best of cinema is an alternative to a frantic rush for relevance that characterizes a lot of academic pop-cultural engagement at the moment.”

HUGORelated to the work being done by Media Literacy Educators across the country, this can be seen as quite a message about the importance of our mission, a call to renewal and reinvigoration and action, and a strong point of reflection on the key role of motion picture arts as communicative vehicles to understand, articulate, and share our experiences and expressions of the world. 

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Numerous mediateacher posts have explored media literacy and its integral relationship to social studies in contemporary education, including Media Manipulation: An Ongoing Story, Media Literacy and Social Studies: Clash at Lincoln Memorial, Media Literacy and Social Studies: Portraits of America, and Infekted Minds. Currently, our tumultuous times bring us what seem to be daily examples of media messages intersecting with how events are actually playing out and the ways in which we process them. Here is a striking example of a video essay from the op-ed pages of the New York Times: The Bill of Rights, Revised. This can serve as a resource for classroom debate along with linked viewpoints and journalistic reporting from a range of online, print, video, and audio media resources.

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Here is a superb resource for media literacy courses: the “Film Club” Learning Network offered by The New York Times. From this site, you can find short documentary films, most under 10 minutes, and related discussion questions.

And here is a Reader Idea resource created by English teacher Michael Kellen that features lessons with the shorts Girl Boxer and Arctic Boyhood

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Still from Charles Burnett’s classic Killer of Sheep

For Black History Month, film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott of the New York Times have compiled an interactive list of culturally, artistically, and historically important motion pictures.  This resource is quite valuable and can also serve as a springboard for interesting discussion.  Along with the movies they have chosen — one per day for the month of February — there are many others noted in their comments and footnotes.  Many directors and other figures from film history who are featured in Moving Images, such as Oscar Micheaux, Spike Lee, and Charles Burnett, are highlighted among the selections.

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Here is a follow-up to the Women Pioneers of the Cinema: Patty Jenkins and the Wonder Women post from a few days ago (see below).  For Mekado Murphy’s New York Times “Anatomy of a Scene” series, Patty Jenkins narrates a key scene from Wonder Woman, along with a nice tip of the hat to a strong inspiration for her — Richard Donner’s Superman from 1978.

P.S.: Right after I posted this piece, the NYTimes published this highly interesting and enlightening interview with Patty Jenkins.  Read it to the end.  The exchange at the tail of this conversation with journalist Cara Buckley was one of the most take-your-breath-away moments I have read in an interview with a filmmaker in quite some time.  It features a very inspiring and strikingly original statement from Ms. Jenkins.

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