Thursday, January 2, 2014

I come, a lone man, from the void (Allen Ginsberg)

Christmas celebrations...tick; new year celebrations...tick.

The terrible news about one of my students who died suddenly just before Christmas has continued to hover over all the usual stuff that happens at this time of year. 

It's all been bitter sweet - seeing family and friends in abundance has been wonderful but I can't seem to shake images of my Year 12 students in general and the girls' family in particular (their Christmases will never be the same again).

Time is a healer though and inevitably other thoughts and projects at home have helped.

Work thoughts have centred on films and texts that I want to teach this year. I've been running through film contenders for my year 13 class in particular.

It's been tricky. 

The list of films that I've been considering?

The Pianist
The Shawshank Redemption
Million Dollar Baby
Anna Karenina
Shakespeare in Love
Gran Torino

The criteria I've imposed makes it even trickier.

The film needs to be worthy (won awards and have an established reputation); it needs to be free of controversy (no sex scenes and as much obscenity free as possible); it needs to contain solid thematic (great literature deals with the big themes - death, violence, tragedy, love) and character driven material to provide material for essay writing; and as well as that it needs to appeal to a female audience as much as possible.

That means each of the above has at least one mark against it.  

Psycho is out - too old and it's a murder mystery at heart so no big themes.
Anna K and Shakespeare have sex scenes and Crash is on the too controversial side of the ledger for me. Shawshack may not be worthy enough.

The Pianist and Torino remain contenders, this week.

Any suggestions will be gratefully viewed.

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