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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Polley’

Among the very necessary debates and amidst the range of fallout that mediamakers have seen and are still to see from the New York Times investigative report on Harvey Weinstein and his subsequent fall from power as a movie studio executive, media students, educators, and professionals must sift through many perspectives and viewpoints.  I would like to highlight this op-ed by Sarah Polley that appeared today, The Men You Meet Making MoviesMs. Polley was the subject of an earlier post in mediateacher.net’s series on Women Mediamakers, Talking Stories: Portraits with Sarah Polley, which readers may wish to check out for further information on this important multi-talented creator.

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Dee Rees, director of "Pariah" (Chad Batka, NYTimes)

Dee Rees, director of “Pariah” (Chad Batka, NYTimes)

One investigative project that I often assign in Introductory Media Literacy courses is to have students present the work of a contemporary filmmaker, including thematic, biographical, and artistic analyses.  Here’s a useful article by critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott of the New York Times in which they offer a list of 20 young filmmakers singled out for the value of their recent work and the promise of more movies to come, including Dee Rees, Sarah Polley, Andrew Bujalski, J.C. Chandor, and others.  It can be very informative for teachers and students (great for college students, but with caution in regards to high school classes where editorial oversight for content is advised) and can bring fresh perspectives to most average viewers.  The point is that there are many great movies out there, even if they are not getting to your local megaplex.  And for those of us who are teachers, bringing a little bit of the big, enlightening, provoking, questioning, enriching world into our students’ lives is cause for exploration.  Check it out.

(Note to Ms. Dargis and Mr. Scott: many of these directors are 40-ish years old.  For us educators, we can tell you that for our students that’s not even close to being young.)

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Director Sarah Polley Preparing a Shot

Director Sarah Polley Preparing a Shot

A movie from this spring that offers abundant possibilities for learning is Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell (PG-13), and in this video from the New York Times, she and her family discuss its genesis and driving questions.  This film is an excellent companion to the portraits paired with the themes of Chapter 5 and 6 of Moving Images, particularly This Unfamiliar Place and Looking Back.  Sarah Polley has directed a number of other movies, including the award winning Away from Herand she is a well known actress who has been featured in many films including one of my personal favorites, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (directed by Terry Gilliam).    

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