18 September 2012

Part I: The Movie

Today we’ll meet back in the classroom and begin watching the movie Of Mice and Men. We do this for two reasons:

  1. In the 21st century, it is as important to be able to read film and images as it is to be able to read text.
  2. It’s good practice for one of your later tasks that asks you to write a movie review.
So think of this as an exercise in learning to “read” movies.  As a result, I’m asking you to do two things:
  1. Keep track of the artistic choices the director is making and what those choices accomplish.  This is a different way of thinking about how a movie is different than a book.  It’s just not very fruitful to merely compare.  Instead, thinking about them as different works of art in their own right.  This exercise should help.
  2. Keep track of the things Foster would notice and comment on in the movie.  Each evening, go back through your notes and write (briefly) in your journal about what sense Foster would make of the things you’ve noticed.
I’ve given you a graphic organizer called Of Mice and Men Film Analysis to keep track of things while you’re watching–but make sure you follow up and write in your journal about how Foster would interpret the things you’re seeing in the film.

Part II: But what about the reading we’re doing?

In terms of reading Alaska, as promised, there are some Foster chapters I’d like you to read alongside the “Before.” They are Chapters 16, 17 and 20 as well as the interlude “Did He Mean That?” Again, these Foster chapters and the “Before” section of Alaska are due Tuesday September 25. So you can break it up whatever way you like.
For your journal on Alaska, do two things:
  • Split your page again and keep track of things of merit and areas of concern for this novel, similar to what we did for OMM. Again, Task 2 depends on us doing this work well, so make sure to be as specific as possible.
  • Identify things Foster would see in the novel (based on the chapters we’ve read so far) and write about them–both WHAT you see and WHY its significant.
For your journal on Foster
  • Chapters 16 & 17:The key idea from this chapter is that “scenes in which sex is coded rather than explicit can work at multiple levels and sometimes be more intense that literal depictions” (141). In other words, sex is often suggested with much more art and effort than it is described, and, if the author is doing his job, it reflects and creates theme or character. Choose a novel or movie in which sex is suggested, but not described, and discuss how the relationship is suggested and how this implication affects the theme or develops characterization.
  • For your journal on Foster Chapter 20: Identify the way season affects a novel you’ve read. Be as specific as possible.  Feel free to use Of Mice and Men or Looking for Alaska.No journal required for “Did He Mean That?” – but we will talk about it!

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