Movies, TV & Music
Screen Education

Screen Education No. 89

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.
ruthless landscapes

Warwick Thornton’s new film, a grim, historically inspired story of death and injustice in the Australian outback, draws upon and subverts elements of the classic western. As JASMINE CRITTENDEN finds, the film offers complex observations on white and Indigenous relations of the past, as well as the echoes that linger in the present. What chance has this country got? What chance has this country got?’ asks missionary Fred Smith (Sam Neill) in the closing scene of Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017). Even though Fred is walking towards a rainbow – a symbol of hope – viewers cannot help but despair. They have just witnessed the vengeful, fatal shooting of an Aboriginal man by a white pastoralist, despite a judge having acquitted the former of a killing committed in self-defence. In 2017…

11 min.
lost in history

Mike Mills’ film assembles an array of outsider characters – loosely associated with a range of epochs and social movements – and places them in the bygone milieu of late 1970s California. Exploring what the film has to say about history and the individual’s place within it, ELLA DONALD considers the stories we tell and the human desire to assign meaning. The creation of recorded history often prompts an unspoken question: where were you? That is, what was your location – both physical and otherwise – at the time of an event, and how does it relate to what happened? Were you a part of this moment that forever changed the world, a part of history being made, or not? What qualifies as history is subjective, with events held up to the…

16 min.
brief encounters

The first movie adaptation of the wildly popular children’s book series is as zany as its title promises, with all the pranks, shrink rays and marauding toilets a primary schooler could ever hope for. Yet, amid all the silliness, CAROLYN LESLIE finds that the film can also enable more serious discussions about bullying, authority and friendship. Adapted from Dav Pilkey’s much-loved series of novels, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (David Soren, 2017) is a film in which two inventive fourth-graders from small-town America find a way to turn their school life upside down. Like Soren’s previous film, Turbo (2013), which revolved around a super-fast snail who has to leave his home and find a community that accepts him and his speedy attributes, Captain Underpants is also about an ordinary man…

14 min.
cinema science untangling the webs of spider-man: homecoming

Spider-Man is one of the most popular heroes of all time, as evidenced by his cinematic persistence. Much like that pesky spider you can’t seem to scare out of your bedroom, Spider-Man just keeps turning up on the big screen no matter how many times you shoo him away. Over the last decade, the character’s been portrayed by three different actors in big-budget blockbusters: Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films (2002–2007); Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb, 2012) and its sequel (Webb, 2014); and, most recently, Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War (Anthony & Joe Russo, 2016) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts, 2017). While, as a high school teacher, you can’t guarantee your students will have seen every one of these films, you can safely bet that…

17 min.
familiar nightmares

A portrait of a dystopian world not entirely removed from our own, this disturbing, compelling television series has brought Margaret Atwood’s classic feminist novel to new audiences. As SUZIE GIBSON argues, the series serves as an allegory for the gender oppression not only inherent in repressive theocracies, but also lurking under the surface in the liberal West. The 2017 television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale has been widely acknowledged as a success. The first ever program produced by a streaming service to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, it features high-quality production values and an impressive ensemble of actors. The viewer’s experience of The Handmaid’s Tale is largely channelled through likeable chief protagonist Offred, played by Elisabeth Moss, whose fragmented thoughts and memories gradually…

12 min.
challenge mode

As both artists and consumers, girls and women have important roles to play in the world of videogames. Issues such as gender imbalance, poor character representation and online abuse, hower, have long conspired to make the to five local creatives about how gender inequality in gaming can be addressed, both in the classroom and beyond. Videogames are becoming more and more embedded into teaching practice in both primary and secondary schools. With a revised Digital Technologies curriculum and a number of professional learning opportunities now available, videogame analysis and development has become a core component of our teaching. However, there appears to be a gap in the education of our students when it comes to understanding the experience of identifying as female in the gaming landscape. Women play an integral role in…