Monday, August 19, 2019

Film Study: Algiers (1938) and The Battle of Algiers (1966)

The first two movies we will be studying are linked by place, but not by impact. Algiers (1938) is a remake of the movie Pepe le Moko (1937) based on the novel by Henri La Barthe, a French journalist, detective and writer. Both movies share the same plot, a wanted gangster hides in the Casbah in Algiers protected by friends and the woman who loves him. Things change when he meets another woman visiting from Paris.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Algiers_1938_Poster.jpg

Algiers (1938)  John Cromwell is the director, he prolifically directed 50 movies during his career including The Prisoner of Zenda and Of Human Bondage . He also directed Anna and the King of Siam which Rogers and Hammerstein later adapted into the musical The King and I, a film we will watch during our unit on musicals. 

The movie stars Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, and Sigrid Gurie. Boyer, who we will see again in Gaslight during our look at Film Noir, was famous for his smooth charm and wonderful French accent. Hedy, whose first name is actually Hedwig!, made her Hollywood debut in this movie. She had starred in several movies in Germany before coming to the United States. She was also very intelligent and patented a way for changing radio frequencies during radio transmission to stop signal blocking. After making just a few movies, Sigrid transitioned to creating art including paintings and jewelry. 

While watching Algiers (1938) we want to look at setting. We will book trying to answer the following questions:
  1. What is the Casbah?
  2. Where is Algiers?
  3. Why are the French in charge of the police and military in Algiers at this time?
  4. Is there a political bias in this film? 
  5. What connection does Pepe Le Pew have with this movie?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pep%C3%A9_Le_Pew.svg
The second movie we are going to watch is The Battle of Algiers. This movie will be a completely different style of movie from Algiers (1938). The first is more of a standard film noir, while The Battle of Algiers (1966) is a much, much different style of movie. It is considered to be a neorealist style, which means it seems real, although it isn't. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Battle_of_Algiers_poster.jpg

Battle of Algiers was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, an Italian film maker. On of the stars, Saddi Yacef, has a very special tie to the film which we will discuss.

The movie is based on the Algerian War (1954-1962) which eventually led to the departure of French forces and the finish of French control in Algeria. The film depicts accurately portrayed bombings and terrorist attacks from the war. According to Wikipedia, "The Battle of Algiers gained a reputation for inspiring political violence: in particular the tactics of urban guerrilla warfare and terrorism in the movie were supposedly copied by the Black Panthers, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front."

Again we will be revisiting setting in this film as well as discussing the following questions:
  1. What impact did this film have worldwide?
  2. Which side, as depicted in the film, is morally superior?
  3. how did the style of film affect your understanding?
  4. At any time during the film did you think you were watching real footage from the war? 
Interestingly enough both films were nominated for Academy Awards. Algiers received four nominations while The Battle of Algiers earned three, but neither won. Which movies won the awards in those nominated categories?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Does the Foot Soldier of Birmingham Statue have Historical Value?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionist_History_(podcast)

In this lesson we are using the podcast The Foot Soldier by Malcolm Gladwell to discuss inherent bias.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Birmingham_campaign_dogs.jpg

In this lesson we will look at the above picture and try to decode it. What are we seeing happen here? Then we will listen to the podcast by Malcolm Gladwell. Is what we believe to have happened what actually happened?

After the lesson you will need to answer these questions:
  1. Can the art we create be used to influence belief systems? 
  2. As we examine the story as well as look at the statue and the picture from which the statue comes, what can we learn about ourselves and how we react based upon what we have learned?
  3. How will this change your view of historical artifacts as we move forward?

Essential Question: Does the Foot Soldier of Birmingham statue have historical value?

Engage:
Explore:
Explain: 
  • The statue is a misrepresentation of the facts. Does this matter as an art piece? 
Evaluate:
  • The students will question if the statue is a reliable historical source.
  • Does the Foot Soldier of Birmingham statue have historical value?
  • Can the art we create be used to influence belief systems? 
  • As we examine the story as well as look at the statue and the picture from which the statue comes, what can we learn about ourselves and how we react based upon what we have learned?
  • How will this change your view of historical artifacts as we move forward?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

What Are Our Rights In School? What Are Our Responsibilities?

In 1776 a group of men were meeting to discuss how to react to their country's lack of response to questions about their rights as citizens. A group of these men decided that independence was the only way to address their grievances, effectually breaking ties with a government they felt was not respecting their rights. Before they could bring their idea to a vote, the decided to form a committee to explain why they felt they needed independence. The Declaration of Independence identified rights that all men have 'certain unalienable Rights, that are among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

In 1789, inspired by the United States, the French National Constituent Assembly created the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Its second article defined the rights of man as, "liberty, property, safety and resistance against oppression."

In 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York the Seneca Falls Convention was held. It was organized by female Quakers from the area along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. During that meeting the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments was passed, which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence. It stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;..."
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woman%27s_Rights_Convention.jpg

If we had to come up with our Declaration of Student Rights, what rights would it identify? Let's create a statement that identifies these rights and finish the sentence below.

We the students of Noel Elementary hold these truths to be self evident; that all students are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: that are among these.......



https://everythingfunny.org/funny-quotes/41193/attachment/today57-4

What does it mean to be a responsible student? Here is the definition of responsibility:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsibility

How do we show responsibility in the classroom? In the school? What things should we be responsible for while at school?

Make a list of 5 responsibilities you have at school. We will compare these with the other students. Can we identify five together that we agree are important?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Artefact Historique: The Mystery of the Tombstone

Photo by Me
This is a tombstone that resides in my yard. It has been there as long as I can remember (45+ years). Today we will be looking at this artifact and try to learn as much as we can about it.

Your assignment is to come up with 20 questions that I will be able to answer with a yes or a no. I will then answer 20 of these questions for you. You will then write down everything you know about this artifact. 

I will finish by telling you all I know about this artifact, and some of the conclusions I have drawn about it. Will what you write match my story?

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Art as Inspiration: Using "Washington Crossing the Delaware"


Emanuel Leutze "Washington Crossing the Delaware "

The painting of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Leutze is a historically significant piece of art in the United States. It is so iconic it has become inspiration for pop art. Read about pop art here

Below is one example of using the painting to create a pop art piece. Compare the two pieces of art, what is similar and what is different?

By WatermelonRat

Assignment

  1. Create your own piece of pop art using the knowledge you learned from the Wikipedia page. Use "Washington Crossing the Delaware" as your inspiration.
  2. Check with me if you have any questions.

Art History or Art as History?

Washington Crossing the Delaware is a very famous painting. Its use in popular culture probably even led to a contest to pick the best George Washington impersonator to re-enact the crossing every year. Watch this video to find out more about the contest. 


After watching the video, lets look at the paining. What do you see? Can you find any historical inconsistencies? You can find more information about the painting of Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware.

Emanuel Leutze "Washington Crossing the Delaware "
The painting creates a lot of questions. Why was this painted? Is it historically accurate? Who is the artist Emanuel Leutze? Check out the article below to find out these answers.

Assignment 

In the comment section of this post answer the following questions:

  1. In "Being George" why do you think portraying George Washington is so important to the contestants?
  2. Why did Leutze paint "Washington Crossing the Delaware"? 
  3. Identify three historical inaccuracies in the painting. 
  4. Should art be historically accurate? Explain why or why not. 

Copy and paste the following frame for your comment:
  1. Portraying George Washington is important to the contestants because
  2. Leutze painted "Washington Crossing the Delaware" because
  3. Three historical inaccuracies in the painting are
  4. Yes, art should be historically accurate because/No, art should not be historically accurate because 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Oregon Trail


If you are as old as I am, you remember playing this game on the school's old computers (Apple II's or maybe Commodore 64's). If you don't remember, or simply aren't old enough then take a few minutes to play through an early 'video' game that kids used to love.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Southern Europe Activities

Write a story where a Roman god visits you. Use the story to explain who the god is, what he or she is responsible for, and what he or she looks like. (250 words) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_gods


Compare and contrast five Greek and Roman gods who are the same, but might have different characteristics. There is a comparison table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Similarities_between_Roman,_Greek_and_Etruscan_mythologies but to find their differences will require more research.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Samorost



Samorost 1 is a crazy cool game. The idea is to get the character, Samorost, to explore the space ship that he finds flying towards his planet. To play this game you simply point and click until you find out how to progress. You will have to collaborate on this one, don't be selfish when you figure out the puzzles!

Check out Amanita Designs other stuff here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Art as History?

Washington Crossing the Delaware is a very famous painting. It's use in popular culture probably even led to a contest to pick the best George Washington impersonator to re-enact the crossing every year. Watch this video to find out more about the contest. 


After watching the video, lets look at the paining. What do you see? Can you find any historical inconsistencies? You can find more information about the painting of Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware.

Emanuel Leutze "Washington Crossing the Delaware "

Next listen to the story behind the painting on NPR's Morning Edition from October 28, 2002. Has your opinion of the painting changed? Does it have more or less meaning for you now? 



NPR Morning Edition October 28, 2002. This NPR program discusses the painting.