Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Homeschooling - film studies class

Rear Window
Today is the first day back to school for my two homeschoolers!

My daughter is starting 8th grade this year and has been totally loving her secular, literature-based curriculum from Bookshark. This year it's based on science (rather than world history) and includes books like the wonderful, Longitude. The Bookshark curriculum covers all the core courses, but we still search for other courses to round out the school year. Last year, she did a year of American Sign Language and got quite good at it.

This year we are taking a break on the languages and doing PE (mostly running) and a Film Studies course that's based on a two-year high school curriculum by Tim Marklevitz.

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we don't have to wait for high school to cover topics of interest (assuming they were even offered at our local high school). I can adapt the curriculum to her age level as well as the content of the movies, although she already watches movies way above her age range. I would definitely not recommend this movie list to younger children or high schoolers who are uncomfortable with scary movies or adult themes.

Some of the movies we'll be watching are:
  • Rear Window (1954) - unit on mise en scene
  • Do the Right Thing (1989) - unit on color and light temperature
  • Citizen Cane (1951) - unit on cinematography
  • The Conversation (1974) - unit on sound
  • Psycho (1960) - unit on editing and will be during the week of Halloween
  • Run Lola Run (1988) - unit on split screen and parallel editing
  • The Wrong Trousers (1993) - unit on stop motion animation
This is Spinal Tap
There are 26 movies covered in the first year of the curriculum. We'll see if there's interest in the second year when she starts high school next year and, assuming she's still homeschooled. She has expressed an interest in one of the local, alternative high schools.

I have seen most of the movies in the list, but it will be fun to rewatch them again with an eye towards cinematography, structure, pacing and the like.

I'm using two texts along the way:
  1. The Film Experience - An Introduction (Second Edition - it's cheaper and the content is similar to later editions)
  2. Film Studies: An Introduction (Teach Yourself) 
For a full list of the films covered (as well as the topics touched on from each movie), you can view the list on IMDB: Movies for Teaching a High School Film Course.

Warning: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post.


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

That's a wonderful list of movies to watch as a film student. Rear Window is one of my favorites. ( The Jimmy Stewart one. I haven't' seen the one with Christopher Reeve) I took one film class in college as an elective, and it really changed the way that I watch movies now. I appreciate "Silence of the Lambs" in a way I couldn't have before it. I also enjoy "bad" movies a bit more. There was a hilarious film "Rock-u-la" that our teacher wanted us to watch as an example of parody. It had a ridiculously well credentialed cast, for something so bad. Still, so much fun. BB King. Thomas Dolby, Toni Basil. I hope your child learns a lot from these experiences and has a good time, too.