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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


TLN – Round the lighthouse and back in time for …Casablanca! – Using feature films in the classroom – Melvyn Stokes

By Matt Jenner, on 7 March 2011

This week the Teaching and Learning Network are lucky to have Melvin Stokes who talked about using feature films in the classroon.

Melvyn begins by introducing the history of american cinema, including newsreal shots of black protesters being hit by american enforceMelvyn Stokesments with a water canon or Thomas Canby in the early 1900’s. After this, technical developments made the feature film possible. The first major feature films were on 4, 5 and 6 reals. In addition were developments in editing and special effects. Cinema attendance soared in the 20, 30 and 40’s as telling stories on the screen.

But the question is, how can this be introduced into teaching?

Melvyn uses a pre film text to read which also acts as an introduction to the film itself and questions such as how does [the film] shed lights on the cultural issues in which the context it will be introduced?

Melvyn then goes onto show us clips and how they were influential to American cinema and perhaps revolutionised a way of thinking into the audiences that went to go and watch them. He shows clips from, The Birth of a Nation, So Red the Rose, The Searchers, Hester Street, The Grapes of Wrath and finally Casablanca.

Popcorn!It’s well worth noting that we had more popcorn than we were able to eat, next time we hope you can come along too.

More information on the TLN programme page for this event.

Echo 360 logo View the recording of this event