By Karolina Manko, Education Assistant07.23.14
Day three of Summer Teachers Institute was a day for discussion, analysis, and reflection. We dedicated the day to a screening of Richard Linklater’s latest film, Boyhood. The movie, shot over a period of twelve consecutive years, trails the life of a young boy, Mason and his family as they navigate the very ordinary (and surprisingly extraordinary) reality of time’s passage.
Rider University professor and author, Dr. Cynthia Lucia graced our theater with a wonderful introduction to the technical realities of Boyhood. Offering a detailed viewing guide paired with a couple of clips from films like Citizen Kane and Umberto D, Dr. Lucia offered the audience tips and tools for how to view Boyhood through the critical lens. The study of time in film is a great was to familiarize one’s-self with reading visual cues. From flashbacks and dissolves to the score and mis-en-scene, everything carries subtext and contributes to a viewer’s understanding of a visual text.
After Boyhood the group of teachers discussed with Dr. Lucia how the tools she’d taught them helped to enhance their experience. Boyhood is one of those rare films that transcends the present moment. It encourages and even requires viewers to travel back to their own childhoods in order to truly relate to the protagonist(s). The group discussed how the story of Mason reminded them of their own lives, and connected them to their students. One educator remarked that “growing up, we have a lot of thoughtful moments” and the group discussed the role of the educator as nurturer, navigator, and guide.
Day three wrapped up with a look at some of the features available for teachers on our new website. Our Visual Glossary is a great tool for those seeking a quick and efficient way to incorporate the technical and minute details of film-making into their curricula. It uses film clips to demonstrate and define various film terms and concepts. The View Now Do Now section compiles various quick and accessible projects that incorporate various kinds of visual texts (film clips, still images, etc.) Each activity familiarizes students with viewing and creating, teaching them effective visual communication.