Movies, TV & Music
Screen Education

Screen Education No. 87

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

13 min.
inside out grown-up discussions for little ones

When I see that famous Disney castle appear on the screen at the very start of a film, it does something to me. I sit up a little straighter, cross my legs underneath me and wait in wide-eyed anticipation for the familiar music and the fireworks crisscrossing the screen. There’s just something about a children’s movie that sparks a sense of wonder in an audience – even one made up of cynical adults. It’s no wonder, then, that they continue to entrance new generations of children. The technology and the images may be a little slicker, the audio arrangements may be just that little bit more complex and there’s a lot more diversity than there used to be, but they’re still the same kinds of stories that we always loved. Formation…

15 min.
out from the fringes teen tropes and female perspective in the edge of seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen (2016), written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, is an important coming-of-age film that chronicles painful moments of teen awkwardness and self-realisation in a manner that jolts older viewers back to their pasts, and uncannily parallels the lives of younger audiences. The character of Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld), the film’s protagonist, embodies the experience of growing up with depth and complexity. In part, the film’s veracity can be attributed to Craig’s screenplay and deft direction. Also contributing to its authenticity is Steinfeld’s astonishing portrayal of an ungainly youth struggling with high school, home life and burgeoning sexuality. Over the film’s 104 minutes, the gap between fiction and reality – performing and living – seems to disappear as the audience becomes immersed in Nadine’s embattled emotional world.…

20 min.
horror, history, healing the act of killing , the look of silence and the indonesian genocide

The Act of Killing’s success brought an incident of genocide rarely spoken about into the greater global conversation, and forced Indonesian authorities big on denial to discuss the past, if not apologise for it. The Act of Killing (2012) is a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction film in which notions of ‘truth’ and ‘fiction’ are up for grabs. Made over a decade by American documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer, it finds the filmmaker speaking to mass murderers: the executioners who slaughtered ‘enemies’ earmarked for death during the 1965–1966 Indonesian genocide. Rather than repentant men offering grim to-camera confessions, The Act of Killing introduces viewers to jovial grandfathers, openly boasting of the number of ‘communists’ they killed. Looking into the eyes of the perpetrators of atrocity – men who murdered with machetes, with fencing wire and by drowning; who…

13 min.
cinema science the fast and the furious and the mechanics of dangerous driving

This column’s goal is to investigate the scientific and mathematical aspects of well-known films – films that you can be assured that the average secondary school student will have seen or at least heard of. There are few film franchises that fit the bill better than The Fast and the Furious, making it a perfect tool for enhancing learning in your science or mathematics classroom. There have been countless articles written about the unlikeliness of this series’s ascension from a mid-budget riff on Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, 1991) and Gone in Sixty Seconds (Dominic Sena, 2000) to a world-beating, billion-dollar institution. But there’s one feature in particular that critics can’t seem to help but comment on when discussing this franchise: its countless implausibilities. Nary a review goes by without a dig…

13 min.
converting the classics adaptation and the lion, the witch and the wardrobe

Each reader creates his own film inside his head, gives faces to the characters, constructs every scene, hears the voices, smells the smells. […] Whenever a reader goes to see a film based on a novel that he likes, he leaves feeling disappointed, saying: ‘The book is so much better than the film’. – Paulo Coelho There comes a time in every school year when, no matter how entertaining you are, the eyes of your critical audience glaze over. And there is no audience more critical than a bunch of intelligent Year 8 English students who have finished their final-year exams and see no reason why they should keep engaging with a topic that is now, for them, done and dusted. At this particular time in western Sydney, it was late…

9 min.
new visions , teaching mythology through film

One of the main challenges for teachers is how best to situate learning in a growing world of multimedia and pop culture while thoughtfully identifying appropriate texts for students. In addition to traditional print texts, educators have increasingly been incorporating film into their lessons, alongside other, predominantly visual forms such as picture books and graphic novels. It has been suggested that film encourages students to undertake high-level questioning, particularly when examining specific cinematic features such as angles and lighting – much in the same way that they would analyse a complicated print text. Moreover, the emotive content of films can serve as an engaging connection point for students when they are learning about history or society, as it invites them to ponder the representation or re-creation of particular time periods.…