Movies, TV & Music
Screen Education

Screen Education No. 85

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

15 min.
there’s no place like home finding family in hunt for the wilderpeople

In Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Waititi builds on his preceding work as unlikely bonds are formed and relationships are tested when a boy and a man are forced to live in close proximity. Ever since Dorothy was spirited over the rainbow, discovering her affection for the seemingly ordinary life she was living in the process, the importance of family has sat at the heart of features designed for all-ages viewing. And, just as The Wizard of Oz’s (Victor Fleming et al., 1939) ruby-slipper-wearing protagonist (Judy Garland) gravitates towards a gathering of offbeat characters that share more than a passing resemblance with people she knows, family-focused entertainment has stressed that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t apply to family ties, regardless of whether the group in question is linked by blood, choice or circumstance. Indeed,…

20 min.
rose-coloured rear-view stranger things and the lure of a false past

If we’re thinking about nostalgia, we can see the past as not so much a foreign country as a panic room. It’s understandable that we should want to retreat there when the present looks frightening. A strange thing happened during the run-up to the recent US presidential election. I noticed a few of my left-leaning Facebook friends linking to the same article – a rather sweet little anecdote about former president George W Bush. This was odd because, for those on the left, Dubya has long been the devil. Until the events of 8 November 2016, he looked destined to go down in history as the most disastrous of all American presidents. Yet here was a bunch of progressives getting nostalgic for an eight-year reign that saw civil liberties curtailed, several…

15 min.
screen dreaming in clever man reimagining indigenous identities

With episodes titled ‘Terra Nullius’ and ‘First Contact’, it is clear that Griffen is evoking traumatic memories from Australia’s past to provoke discussion about present-day relations and policies concerning Indigenous Australians. Cleverman was created by Ryan Griffen and is based on the Dreaming figure of the ‘Clever Man’ who appears interchangeably in Indigenous narratives as Mann’gur (Medicine Man), Kgun’diri (Forecaster), and Kgai’dai’chi (Spirit Man). Griffen’s series follows a traditional monomythic structure and puts forward Koen West (Hunter Page-Lochard) as the reluctant and imperfect hero at the centre of this contemporary reimagining of the Dreaming story. Cleverman is set in a dystopian world in which ‘Hairies’, hairy superhumans with extraordinary strength, are marked as a threat to society and forcibly sectioned off into a compound known as ‘The Zone’. Koen runs a…

12 min.
nurtured by nature reconnection and respite in all the time in the world

All the Time in the World is the 2014 feature documentary debut of Canadian filmmaker, former physician and mother of three Suzanne Crocker. Having always felt that ‘there was never enough time for the things that really counted’, as she explains in the film, Crocker and her partner, Gerard Parsons, make the remarkable decision to leave their jobs and a comfortable family home in Dawson City to take their three children, Sam (ten), Kate (eight) and Tess (four), as well as their dog and two cats, to live in the remote Yukon wilderness in north-west Canada. Laden with supplies of food, clothes, books and other essentials, the family spend nine months living in a small wooden cabin that is devoid of road access, electricity and running water. With no phones,…

16 min.
the quiet screams of the horror blockbuster

THE APPEAL OF THE REPULSIVE If you don’t read this issue’s column, or don’t read all of it, please know that you’re forgiven in advance. It’s just the nature of the beast – in more ways than one. Because that’s the thing about horror: if it does its job well, there’s a reason we shy away from it, and more so in what are ostensibly settings of order and light, such as schools. At its best, horror stubbornly continues to deal with topics that are taboo, or nearly so, as well as images that are disturbing, and content that is ‘objectionable’. It’s an area where the in loco parentis social function of educators and the (somewhat outdated) ‘protectionist’ mode of media literacy education join forces to fuel our hesitancy. At its worst,…

13 min.
switched on to stem stile and double helix lessons

In 2012, scientist and entrepreneur Dr Alan Finkel decided to build an online platform to deliver the Science curriculum in schools. Right when all the money was being flushed into schools through Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s Digital Education Revolution to provide computers for every high school student from Year 9 up, Finkel was wondering how he could use this to deliver content from Cosmos, a popular science magazine published by him and his wife, Elizabeth. Finkel had met a promising young PhD student, Byron Scaf, some years earlier at Melbourne University when the pair collaborated on a start-up enterprise to develop infrastructure for electric cars. ‘I was starting a PhD in neuroscience when I got roped into a completely separate start-up that Alan was involved in called Better Place,’…