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Old 26-09-2008, 09:31   #41
Raigmore
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I learnt that they have the habit of showing John Ford's Grapes of Wrath, a classic if ever there was one and one of the few films that surpasses the classic book it was adapted from, in American schools to teenagers. I am not sure of the wisdom of this considering the position of the modern American teenager (or British, for that matter) in the Cosmos, but the following are a couple of comments that I 'borrowed' from IMDB, deleting the author's titles. From what I can make out, the first comment is from an American teen and the second one closer to home.

1.
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I'm SOOOOO Bored
I'm watching this movie in class, and I want to gouge my eyes out with a fork. People are going out to have quickies around the corner. The one hot girl in the class just went out. Does anybody want to talk?
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I am frankly bored out of my skull right now watching this POS movie. This class sux0rz. I mean, on their way to california, i wish their car would break down in the beginning, and they would just die of thirst in the middle of the freaking nowhere. I feel like i'm getting dragged behind a chariot in the middle of the hippodrome. And arsalon looks like sean, but arabian or indian or something instead of a hippy.
I thinks we can get a good picture of the sort of species that are going to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Last edited by Raigmore; 26-09-2008 at 09:32.
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Old 26-09-2008, 09:44   #42
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By the time they are teenagers it's too late. If you have to teach film you've got to start earlier. My kids have been watching films with me since an early age and there's no such thing as a 'slow' and 'boring' film as far as they're concerned.
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Old 26-09-2008, 09:50   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre07 View Post
By the time they are teenagers it's too late. If you have to teach film you've got to start earlier. My kids have been watching films with me since an early age and there's no such thing as a 'slow' and 'boring' film as far as they're concerned.
Spot on. My 12 year old has been watching movies from all periods of film history since the first time she could follow a simple story. We regularly settle down and watch a Hitchcock together, and she referred to The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) as "magical" a few weeks ago. You've just got to get them young!

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Old 26-09-2008, 10:09   #44
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As for this point about the acting style in older movies being unnatural etc., it just doesn't make sense to me. I could buy that argument if it were applied to the followers of the method, who can seem painfully forced and fake but it doesn't really apply to the majority of old films - certainly not The Searchers.
I think it's ironic that the OP finds the acting in OUATITW and TGTBATU more natural than the acting in The Seachers.

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...and she referred to The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) as "magical" a few weeks ago.
She's got that right.
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Old 26-09-2008, 14:36   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWilde1966 View Post
My 12 year old has been watching movies from all periods of film history since the first time she could follow a simple story. We regularly settle down and watch a Hitchcock together, and she referred to The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) as "magical" a few weeks ago. You've just got to get them young!
Lucky you. The average 12-year old these days would probably think that Robin Hood was a brother hoody!
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Old 26-09-2008, 14:49   #46
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Leone's films are stylised westerns whereas the old westerns are more naturalistic. I would advise the OP not to bother with Seven Samurai if he's already watched The Magnificient Seven.
I would say seven samurai is one of the best movies ever made but thanks for the advise

I also loved the godfather movies and thought jaws was ok.

The main problem in the movie is the guy who plays the older, mentally challenged, person? Your saying that he is acting natural?

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By the time they are teenagers it's too late. If you have to teach film you've got to start earlier. My kids have been watching films with me since an early age and there's no such thing as a 'slow' and 'boring' film as far as they're concerned.
Given your reaction here I would say this could be more to do with emulating your views then loving what they see.

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Old 26-09-2008, 14:56   #47
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Originally Posted by DanWilde1966 View Post
I have the misfortune to teach film - misfortune, because the potential for having my love of the subject trashed by the sheer uncomprehending indifference of many of the students is so great.

Let's take a recent example: I showed a group of students Deliverance. To my eye, I can see that the pace of its narrative is much slower than many movies today. There isn't that need to grab the audience in the first few minutes. Instead, the viewer is given "Duelling Banjos" (an amazing, amazing opening, in my view), but then must wait something like 45 minutes for "squeal piggy sceam" and all the rest of it. The build up in the first third of the movie is gradual (but gripping). I can watch this movie over and over, because it's very rich on a variety of levels. I adore it.

And yet... when the lights went up in my classroom, the students didn't have any comments to make. After five minutes of questioning, the most I could get out of them was - "It's weird." There was no further analysis, no apparent willingness (or ability?) to push the ball further than that, or indeed engage in any active response. Quite the opposite: the response was completely passive, and the students' assumption seemed to be that if the movie didn't grab viscerally in the first seconds, then it was automatically a bore.
I am deeply sceptical about the whole idea of teaching film in a scholastic way in a scholastic environment. Nevertheless this anecdote raises questions.

1) Why did the students react so lethargically? Are they natural dullards or have they been conditioned into that kind of intellectual inertia?

2) Why did those students choose to study film? Did they not qualify for more conventional courses?

3) Are those students typical of all people in their age group? Are there no young people today who respect traditional styles of movie?

4) What is the purpose of this course of film studies, and on what basis does it select its pupils?

I'm glad I never studied films academically. I would hate to have mix with students like that.
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Old 26-09-2008, 14:58   #48
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I would say seven samurai is one of the best movies ever made
It is. A couple of scenes in particular are unforgettable; one is Toshiro Mifune's brisk long walk towards his adversary with the camera backing up at the same pace. The other is when one of the other Samurai cleaves an enemy clean in two at the waist and the 'bodies' fall in slow motion giving rise to a cloud of dust.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:05   #49
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Do people wring their hands that kids don't listen to Duke Ellington or Eddie Cochran?

Who here reads 19th century fiction in any depth?

The further we get away from it, the less important it seems. It's always been the same.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:14   #50
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Given your reaction here I would say this could be more to do with emulating your views then loving what they see.
You don't have kids do you.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:18   #51
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You don't have kids do you.
yes i do, thanks.

Also the reason I watched the searchers is partially to do with my love of seven samurai as I know kurosawa was hugely influenced by him.

Funny thing is that I also studied film

As a family we love watching film but I show them many different types: For example a few years ago I showed them grave of the fireflies followed the next week by pearl harbour. Both films not only show two side to war but also it can be argued the two ends of movie making.

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Old 26-09-2008, 15:30   #52
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yes i do, thanks.
In that case you should know kids won't watch something for 5 mins if they're not enjoying it, never mind a 2 hour film.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:36   #53
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In that case you should know kids won't watch something for 5 mins if they're not enjoying it, never mind a 2 hour film.
I also know that some kids like to impress their parents by doing what they do.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:43   #54
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I also know that some kids like to impress their parents by doing what they do.
See my previous answer.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:51   #55
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I would say seven samurai is one of the best movies ever made but thanks for the advise

I also loved the godfather movies and thought jaws was ok.

The main problem in the movie is the guy who plays the older, mentally challenged, person? Your saying that he is acting natural?



Given your reaction here I would say this could be more to do with emulating your views then loving what they see.
So, the "main" problem with The Searchers is HANK WORDEN? Oh, dear. Mr. Worden has about, what, six minutes of screen time? Mr. Worden was unique - he is who he is, and he's perfect as the mentally challenged person, IMO.
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Old 26-09-2008, 15:56   #56
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So, the "main" problem with The Searchers is HANK WORDEN? Oh, dear. Mr. Worden has about, what, six minutes of screen time? Mr. Worden was unique - he is who he is, and he's perfect as the mentally challenged person, IMO.
Sorry I say main problem but meant to say "one of the problems". He acted the part like the scarecrow from the wizard of oz.

I appreciate that you and others may hold it in high regard but like for example the godfather, which has been mentioned on this thread, some people connect with some films and not with others.

I love many films from different genres, even silent b&w, but in this case these three films didnt do anything for me(although I will be watching other films by ford and rewatching the searchers at some point).

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Old 26-09-2008, 16:03   #57
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See my previous answer.
see my followup answer
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Old 26-09-2008, 16:55   #58
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1) Why did the students react so lethargically? Are they natural dullards or have they been conditioned into that kind of intellectual inertia?
This is a difficult question. I suppose it's easy for an early-40s chap like me to forget what being a teenager is like. I don't imagine much has changed over the years on that score. The education system has changed (in the sense that it seems to require the students to do less rather than more for themselves, despite the current vogue of student-centred learning), and of course media have changed: kids can now hop through 150 channels, play on their PSPs and phones, and film cutting techniques have changed. All this, combined with increased choice, has meant (among other things) diminished attention spans. So a film from twenty or thirty (or fifty) years ago just doesn't hit the spot with them. But all these are generalisations and guesses...

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2) Why did those students choose to study film? Did they not qualify for more conventional courses?
There are, broadly, two camps. There are film obsessives who love movies, and there are the students who choose film as a fourth A Level option, to top up their UCAS points. The former will watch anything with a relatively open mind, but are in the minority. The latter will, in general, not be remotely interested in film and will show this in their lethargic body language (though some will be converted in time).

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3) Are those students typical of all people in their age group? Are there no young people today who respect traditional styles of movie?
See above. The film obsessives will watch anything you throw at them. Alas, in my experience, there have been one or two of these in each class I've ever taught. The "typical" perspective of this age group is a dislike of black and white and a greater loathing for subtitles.

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4) What is the purpose of this course of film studies, and on what basis does it select its pupils?
The purpose is (for the obsessives) to feed their obsession, and for the rest, to generate extra UCAS points. There seems to be very little middle-ground here. My motivation is a life-long love of cinema and a desire to communicate that enthusisam. Sitting through a film I love whilst the students are palpably stultified by it, however, is becoming increasingly difficult. The institution selects students on the basis of minimum qualifications and a need to put bums on seats; without a quorum , the course won't run.
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Old 26-09-2008, 17:21   #59
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When I did A-level film, I was the teacher's pet. I could have been your teacher's pet. She used to ask me the release years of films when she wasn't sure of something (you can tell how popular that made me with the rest of the class).

There was one day, when it snowed a bit, when I was the only student who bothered to turn up. Happy times.

People get a bit sniffy about film studies academically, and fine it's a new medium and a lot of the specified texts are a bit heavy on the Freud and Lacan, but even when I thought my degree course was pretty crappily organised and resourced (which it was) it still meant that I got to watch things like A Page of Madness and Letter from an Unknown Woman on the big screen.

Which, you may argue, isn't the greatest way to spend the taxpayers' money when I could be studying business or marketing or PR, because the world definitely needs more of those people in it.
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Old 26-09-2008, 17:53   #60
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So, the "main" problem with The Searchers is HANK WORDEN? Oh, dear. Mr. Worden has about, what, six minutes of screen time? Mr. Worden was unique - he is who he is, and he's perfect as the mentally challenged person, IMO.
And he was just warming up for his classic performance in Twin Peaks.
http://twinpeaksarchive.blogspot.com...1901-1992.html
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