Movies, TV & Music
Screen Education

Screen Education No. 83

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

12 min.
journeying through the wild the jungle book

The 2016 film version of The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, brings the story of Mowgli – the man-cub raised by a pack of Indian wolves – to a new generation. Mowgli’s coming-of-age tale (and the anthropomorphised, speaking jungle animals that he interacts with) first appeared in the 1890s in a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling, which was published as The Jungle Book. In 1967, Disney released an animated musical comedy version of the story, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman and featuring a singing sloth bear and a jazz-performing primate. In Favreau’s version, which is also a Disney production, the narrative has been adapted from both the Kipling stories and the previous film version. The musical numbers and the comedy have been stripped back, while the dramatic elements of…

19 min.
excavating knowledge jurassic park in the classroom

Last year saw the return of a dormant monster long thought extinct. Well over a decade since its last confirmed sighting, the Jurassic franchise roared into cinemas in the form of Jurassic World. Proving itself far more than a dusty fossil, the film – directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring the likes of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard – left a sizeable imprint on the box office, crashing into third place on the worldwide rankings (at least, until it was toppled by another resurrected franchise, Star Wars, some months later). As someone who spent his formative years – in both cinema and schooling – watching Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993), I suspect that Trevorrow’s film will have a similar impact on youngsters as the earlier film did on me, sending…

15 min.
whip lash drumming to a different beat

Though it is about jazz, that famously interactive musical form that relies so much on sensitivity and flow among players, there is barely any interaction between Neiman and other members of the band that isn’t laced with a snarling individualism. The pursuit of excellence in jazz drumming seems like highly unlikely fodder for a heart-stopping psychological thriller. Indeed, at first, writer/ director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash (2014), about a young jazz drummer studying at an elite New York conservatory, seems like it is going to chart fairly well-trodden territory – following a solitary hero as he (invariably it is ‘he’) strives for excellence or the public good, locks horns with a gnarled but ultimately supportive mentor and kicks aside numerous roadblocks to achieve his goal, usually with the collateral prize of a…

15 min.
all of them witches individuality, conformity and the occult on screen

As a term, a practice and a label commonly denouncing spiritual activities that defy dominant beliefs, witchcraft comes to the screen loaded with meaning. Over the course of centuries of human existence, it has become shorthand for preternatural opposition to or deviance from normality – and during just over a century of cinema, filmic depictions have reinforced and dissected this interpretation. The best movie contemplations understand the extremes of individuality and conformity inherent in the word, as filtered through and heightened by the presence or suspicion of the occult. More than that, they acknowledge the power that even daring to mention witchcraft can have, and the complicated societal splinters and fright-driven reactions it can cause. So it is that a girl’s claims of otherworldly influences sets Arthur Miller’s 1953 play The…

13 min.
no man is an island finding friendship in me and earl and the dying girl

Though it is just director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s second feature, and scriptwriter Jesse Andrews’ first, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) is no amateur affair. It won both the US Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Audience Award: US Dramatic at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and continues to be praised as a modern classic coming-of-age film. If you look at the thematic ingredients of the film – friendship, teenagers dealing with death, high school crushes, the looming battle to get into a university – it sounds almost clichéd, but it is far from it. Teenagers may find it more relatable than earlier coming-of-age films because it presents a generation of teens who are tech-savvy, exist within complex social environments, and have growing social responsibilities and struggles. More importantly,…

10 min.
bringing the law to life legal briefs

More than half of all law graduates now are women so it was really critical to us that we try to reflect that in who we were interviewing.– LIZZIE O’SHEA The law can be dry. Very dry. When I was studying at university and I experienced a bout of insomnia, I would read my law textbooks to help me fall asleep. But it can also be really interesting and it can evoke any number of emotions – passion, frustration, anger, sadness, joy, excitement, incredulity. Sometimes all at once. And generally, these emotional responses come about when you look behind the words on a page and at the people who are involved in or affected by the law. That’s why I was excited when I heard about Legal Briefs, a television series created…