As many of you have probably gathered, I'm going through a bit of post-NYC "I can't easily see art/independant films in my backyard" withdrawal. I already signed up for e-mails from the 3 art theaters in Chicago - but I was looking for a better way to cope. Obviously, I could join Netflix, but I really enjoyed having my film diet curated by the awesome theaters in NYC.
About twice a month the Film Forum and/or IFC would feature a film distributed by Film Movement. On a whim I went to their website to see what films they were promoting. Turns out they have a program for film freaks with my exact issue - enter the DVD of the month club.
Maybe other folks will join this film club and we can discuss which films we think are best for the classroom? Just thought I'd share the resource in case anyone else is interested.
The first feature is a coming of age story from England I was unable to see in the theaters before we left - it is called Somer's Town:
Two teenagers, both newcomers to London, forge an unlikely friendship over the course of a hot summer. Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) is a runaway from Nottingham; Marek (Piotr Jagiello), a Polish immigrant, lives in the district of Somers Town, between King's Cross and Euston stations, where his dad is working on a new rail link. When Marke agrees to let homeless Tomo move into his room, unbeknownst to his father, the pair forms a strong bond, as they work odd jobs for an eccentric neighbor and compete for the attention of Maria, a beautiful young French waitress whom they are both infatuated with. But it's only a matter of time before Marek's dad discovers what's going on...
The FIlm Movement has an entire category of "Adolescence/Coming of Age" films that might be teachable - see their list of films here.
Readers of this post may also be interested in this new text: Teen Movies: A Teacher's Guide (Auteur Publishers, available via Columbia University Press) Description: author Rob McInnes explores the social, institutional, economic, cultural and political contexts of the genre from the 1950s to the present day – from Rebel Without a Cause (1955) to American Pie (1999) – which reflects recent Media/Film Studies specifications to study genres as part of a more integrated study of cultural theories and movements. Chapters focus on 'exploitation' film, rock 'n' roll film, nostalgia and teen horror. I also found these pages with a few excerpts: Why Study Teen Movies?; Introduction: Teen Movies and Genre; and Birth of the Teen Movie.
Ryan, Is this discussion still "current"? Would you like to revitalize it? I could post weekly or monthly with a DVD or current release suggestion. I have lots of them and the time to take up that task. Please advise.
Mary - how is this for the worlds MOST BELATED response. I'm so sorry for my sloth. That is a really cool idea - we should meet up for a lunch post Thanksgiving if your around! I'm not headed to NCTE this year (due to Blake's wedding) but would love to catch up on this and many other things - I can't believe you are retired - you're simply too young for that to be possible!