Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

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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storm-troopers-10-was-star-wars-prequels-improve-seriesLooking to check out, review, or share what the upcoming or just-released movies are right now?  Here’s a thorough yet compact interactive article put together by the New York Times.  Good resource for a fun session of watching trailers and reading about what’s up in American moviedom.

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kreosansachaOr, “what exactly is that movie?”  – which was the title to an earlier mediateacher.net post, so we’ll be returning to that phrase again today to explore the ever-evolving 21st century media creation landscape.  (At least that’s what Google translate gave me, so it’s probably a ludicrous translation.  If appropriate, Russian readers can send along a good translation and I’ll add it to this post.  See: that will be 21st century collaborative media in action.) (O.K., here’s the P.S.: О чём этот фильм is a better translation, I am told.  I’ll take your word for it, Marta — Thanks!)

Today, we will be visiting the groundbreaking media event known as Kreosan.  Two young men from war-torn Luhansk, Ukraine, Pavel Pavlov and Aleksandr Kryukov, began conducting home science experiments and posting them to their YouTube channel.  They started to attract a following, and the political and historical contexts of their work provide powerful examples of the ways in which the creation and dissemination of media messages produce new outlets for communication and expression as well as the sharing of information, discoveries, and perspectives across cultures.  A part of that process is also the written expression of ideas through comments by followers and responses by the creators themselves, who have acknowledged the effect of feedback on their output.

kreosanFor an introduction to their work, please check out this Saturday Profile piece by Andrew Roth for the New York Times.  There is a video to watch as well as a print article.  Like many media literacy stories today, this is a richly cross-curricular tale, from the geopolitical situation between Ukraine and Russia for social studies classes to their experiments (such as with the magnetron or with lightning) for science and tech ed coursework.  Watch out for that ray gun!

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Bond…James Bond?

Bond…James Bond?

One of the primary uses of ADR – discussed in Chapter 3 (Sound and Image) of Moving Images – is for dubbing the original voices of a movie into the language of the country in which that motion picture is being distributed, whether for cinemas, television, video games, or whatever platform for which it has been made.  For most Americans, the term “The Fine Art of Dubbing” might seem like a joke since it is not so prevalently used (except for animation) and a great deal of the dubbing that is done is not particularly effective (such as the longstanding tradition of ridiculously bad dubbing in certain Asian martial arts movies).  However, in much of the world dubbing is taken very seriously and the quality can be exceptional.  Here is a very interesting and eye-opening portrait of the work of a dubbing specialist, German actor Dietmar Wunder (the previous link is to the New York Times article and accompanying video; here is just the video).  He is most famous as the German voice of Daniel Craig’s James Bond.  Like with my previous blog posts about the work of the foley artist or sound designer, these resources can provide compelling explorations into the worlds of sound in moviemaking.

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This is where it started: the original story by Chris Claremont with art by John Byrne – the graphic novel can be used in a lesson comparing media and critiquing adaptations

Let’s take a visit to the world of writers today!  For those of you either teaching or learning about the meaning of the word “exposition,” please go and see X-Men: Days of Future Past.  There’s lots on display there.

Speaking of writing, there are two wonderful examples of the craft of fine writing to be found this weekend at the New York Times: A.O. Scott’s reviews of the X-Men movie and Blended are absolutely brilliant.  I particularly recommend his review of Blended; there you will find the best summary of the “Adam Sandler” movie experience that I have seen to date, such as “There are comedians who mine their own insecurities for material. Mr. Sandler, in his recent films, compensates for his by building monuments to his own ego. In Blended, he once again proclaims himself both über-doofus and ultimate mensch, disguising his tireless bullying in childish voices and the ironclad alibis of fatherhood and grief.”  A.O. Scott concludes the piece on Blended with the rating description: “Rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). It will make your children stupid.”  

Every once in a while, some students will select Adam Sandler movies as a topic of study (for example, those directed by Dennis Dugan, or “Double D” as the last presenters called him), and I have to watch snippets from a variety of Mr. Sandler’s films.  I think I am going to have A.O. Scott’s review of Blended made into a poster and put on my classroom wall.  Media literacy includes examples of brilliant critical writing too, after all.

Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project and screenwriter Pamela Gray, seated

Barry Scheck of Innocence Project and Pamela Gray

I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past with my eldest son this weekend, and before the movie we were barraged with the onslaught of previews for brain-frying movies that are about to arrive: Let’s Be Cops, 22 Jump Street, The Expendables 3, Kingsman, and…oh, here’s a “woman’s movie” — Lucy (starring the consistently superb Scarlett Johansson).  Ah, Luc Besson is back with the latest incarnation of his adolescent “perfect woman” fantasies that he can’t move on from (La Femme Nikita, Fifth Element, Angel-A, etc.), along with his usual vicious Asian stereotypes and more.  I’ll pass.  So, a propos of all this, I would like to bring up this article about a recent talk with screenwriter Pamela Gray (Conviction, A Walk on the Moon), who is featured in our From Page to Screen Close-Up interview.  Watching those trailers, I couldn’t help but think about these lines from the Golden Gate Xpress article, “Gray also said that what she really writes are character-driven screenplays, and that most of hers just happen to involve female leads. She said the challenge is not writing for these women, but instead lies in the sexism of the industry: ‘What’s more difficult is getting those movies made (and) finding assignments with good females roles,’ Gray said. ‘There are fewer and fewer of those assignments now.'”  So, perhaps that is your assignment right now for your media literacy and production class!

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