Today, I welcome students to the anniversary of the first color 3D movie, Vincent Price in "House of Wax." As today wraps up our look at "Midnight in Paris" and film criticism in general, it seemed appropriate to end with a bit of film trivia. We briefly discuss students' thoughts on the recent popularity of 3D films, and their thoughts on them.
As with all Daily Holidays, my objective is to build a sense of community and trust in the classroom as they students share their ideas and react to each other. Giving students an opportunity to speak in class provides them the opportunity to qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections (SL.9-10.1d).
Students continue to view "Midnight in Paris" in order to continue our look at critical viewing for an entire film, providing the skills to think critically about visuals. Today also serves to hold an exit discussion, wrapping up anything students feel has not been addressed in detail.
Since previously, we ended "Midnight in Paris" with the final look back into the past (the private investigator in Versailles' Hall of Mirrors), to deliberately focus solely on the theme of nostalgia in our post-viewing discussion. Today I show the final four minutes of the film, focusing on Gil Pender's (Owen Wilson) acceptance of life in the Twenty-First Century and growth and development as a character, as well as his final interaction with Gabrielle at the film's close (RL.9-10.3). Students spend time today discussing Gil, driven by their own ideas (such as returning to addressing Gil in comparison to Jay Gatsby, and discussing if the experience was "real" time travel or an "all in Gil's head" fantasy.) (RL.9-10.3). As we discuss, I add students' responses to the project copy of study guide, providing them with a notes to copy for their own use. This discussion provides the opportunity to pose and respond to questions that relate the film to broader themes or larger ideas, with clarity (SL.9-10.1c) and react to other's perspectives, qualifying or justifying their own views and understanding to make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented by their peers (SL.9-10.1d). This discussion gives students an opportunity to explore their own connections and ideas, with guidance from me, encouraging students to explore their ideas and seek connections, analyze the development of an idea in detail over the course of the text, including summarizing the text on their own (RL.9-10.2).
"Midnight in Paris." Dir. Woody Allen. Perf. Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hiddleston, Allison Pill, Corey Stoll. Sony Classics. 2011. DVD.
Now that students have completed the film and literary readings that express a similar themes; after we have completed the look at "Midnight in Paris," students are asked to form groups of four, in order to hold a sustained discussion on Ernest Hemingway's story, "In Another Country"* and Edwin Arlington Robinson's poems "Miniver Cheevy" and "Richard Cory". Students received reading guides for each of these, (Poetry of Robinson Reading Guide, "In Another Country" Reading Guide), to drive conversation, and should have completed each over the past three days. Drawing on this preparation by referring to evidence from their reading students conduct a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas (RL.9-10.1a).
Students explore how the thematic connections between "Midnight in Paris," "Miniver Cheevy," "Richard Cory," and "In Another Country" develop and emerge over the course of each text (RL.9-10.2) and how what is emphasized or absent in each treatment of the themes (RL.9-10.7).
Hemingway's "In Another Country" connects to "Midnight In Paris" by demonstrating Hemingway's style, Corey Stoll's portrayal of Hemingway embraces in the film. Additionally, the story address the theme of loss and feeling lost, as the character of Gil Pender in "Midnight in Paris."
Like Gil Pender, Edwin Arlington Robinson's poetry address a desire to be somewhere or some-when the character is not. This thematic connection is bitter for Robinson's characters, but in contrast, Gil learns and moves on from his desire to live in a Golden Age.
Students are directed to review the reading guides, as well as looking at the style of Hemingway's writing; how is it like or unlike Fitzgerald's style. As with above, this student-driven discussion provides the opportunity to pose and respond to questions that relate the film to broader themes or larger ideas, with clarity (SL.9-10.1c) and react to other's perspectives, qualifying or justifying their own views and understanding to make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented by their peers (SL.9-10.1d). This discussion gives students an opportunity to explore their own connections and ideas encouraging students to explore their ideas and seek connections, analyze the development of an idea in detail over the course of the text, including summarization of the text on their own (RL.9-10.2).
As students discuss and reflect, I circulate the room, listening to and participating in student discussion.
*("In Another Country" was published in 1927, and as such is still under copyright)
With two minutes remaining, we wrap up our discussion and I ask students to make sure they have "To Kill a Mockingbird" for class tomorrow, as we will begin our look at the Literature Circles and independent project for the novel.