Movies, TV & Music
Screen Education

Screen Education No. 93

Screen Education is essential reading for those with an interest in media literacy. Produced by educators, scholars and critics, the magazines content is tailored to the primary and secondary classroom, as well as some tertiary-level material, offering a unique and engaging perspective on screen education.

Australian Teachers of Media Incorporated
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4 Issues

in this issue

16 min.
the aesthetic of the ecstatic reimagining black masculinity in moonlight

Barry Jenkins opens Moonlight (2016) with a sequence that immediately declares his film’s intentions. It is an unravelling of sorts – a depiction of initially recognisable events that become stranger as they progress. Juan (Mahershala Ali), a black Cuban man, stops his car on a Miami street corner bounded by dilapidated housing projects. He is a drug kingpin, checking in on business. As he talks to the younger man selling his product, the camera circles their still bodies, creating a disorienting effect. A group of black boys enters the eddy, stealing Juan’s attention. We hear them before we see them: running briefly in, then out, of the frame. But they soon become our focus, especially the boy being hounded by the pack – Chiron (Alex Hibbert), nicknamed ‘Little’ – in…

15 min.
rebellion and restriction childhood in custody and the florida project

In the first two minutes of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project (2017), we are presented with both the crushing boredom and joyful chaos of childhood. The establishing shot introduces us to six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera). The two young companions lean listlessly against a garish, mauve-coloured building: Moonee, in a bright yellow T-shirt, restlessly tapping her feet together as Scooty stares off screen, lost in his own thoughts. This lethargic reverie is suddenly interrupted by another child, Dicky (Aiden Malik), who runs up and breathlessly informs them of the arrival of ‘freshies’ at a nearby motel, Futureland. Instantly animated by this news, the children leap up, screaming in unison, and run off to taunt the new tenants. Kool & the Gang’s ‘Celebration’ kicks in as…

13 min.
rough justice rage and redemption in three billboards outside ebbing, missouri

Around twenty years ago, screenwriter and filmmaker Martin McDonagh was travelling through the southern states of America on a bus when a series of billboards caught his eye. ‘It was this raging, painful message, calling out the cops about a crime,’ he recounts.1 These billboards would later become the catalyst for McDonagh’s third feature film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).2 He has described his reasoning in an interview with British television channel Film4: I kind of wondered who would’ve put something like that up […] My last two films [… were] pretty much male-dominated movies, so I wanted to do something that was kind of the opposite of that, to a degree – to have a very strong female lead – and once I got the idea that the person…

16 min.
cinema science pi and the rapture of complex mathematics

To commemorate the eighth iteration of Cinema Science, this issue we’re doing something a little different. The typical mode of this column is to identify the scientific and mathematical content within a contemporary film – the kind of film that you can expect to find fresh on physical media, streaming services and in your students’ memories at the time of publication. But, two years down, I wanted to delve into the archives to examine Darren Aronofsky’s debut feature, the mathematically minded Pi (1998). This necessitates a slightly different approach for a few reasons, with the main consequence being that the topics addressed here are primarily – if not totally – aimed at senior secondary Maths students. (Think: Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics classrooms, or whatever your local equivalent might be.) That’s…

15 min.
building the fourth wall architecture and the moving image

The small town of Columbus, Indiana, is a sleepy Midwestern locale that’s home to less than 50,000 people, yet it serves as an unlikely hub of mid-century modernist architecture, boasting a host of beautiful buildings designed by icons like Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Alexander Girard, Deborah Berke, Robert Venturi, IM Pei, and James Stewart Polshek. This place – along with the various structures that populate it – forms the setting of Columbus (Kogonada, 2017), a film exploring dual artistic media: marrying the artform of time, cinema, to the artform of space, architecture. In making Columbus, Kogonada – a Korean-American debutant who’d cut his teeth making video essays examining the visuals of legendary filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard and Wes Anderson – was out to sincerely address a pragmatic…

16 min.
aesthetics of power form and ideology in triumph of the will

There is likely no celebrated masterpiece of cinema so troubling and controversial as Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1935). Now over eighty years old, the film remains on school lists as a touchstone for questions relating to early-twentieth-century history, documentary form, cinematography and the aesthetics of propaganda. It is a widely acknowledged masterpiece of cinema, but also a terrifying expression of Nazism. As a document of the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, Triumph of the Will utilises an astonishing array of techniques and stylistic devices to present a vast cinematic window into the deranged and feverish cultural atmosphere of early Nazi Germany. To what extent the film’s artistic values can be distinguished from its depraved ideological function is the central concern of this article. Riefenstahl was still in her…