Being a teacher for the last 7 years has utterly ruined my ability to watch films and enjoy them on their own merits. As the opening titles scroll forward, I think about my classroom. As the plot develops, I think about my school setting. As you get to know the film characters, I think about the LAUSD administrators and managers. While I suppose some may see this as an asset, it can be a bit annoying at times.
As evidence, I present the last 3 films (“Buck”, “Moneyball”, and “Contagion”) I’ve seen with the “teaching lessons” I’ve learned as a result.
Finally, it’s that time of year again when the good films are getting released. Last night, I joined two colleagues and attended Darren Aronofsky’s latest endeavor, Black Swan, which retells Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in meta-narrative style, with the added twist of potentially psychotic characters. Don’t think Tchaikovsky really envisioned that.
Nonetheless, Black Swan was a pretty amazing film, especially as it exists alongside of two other great films of 2010 which deal at least, in part, with the pitfalls of mental health, namely Shutter Island, and Inception.
And finally, even if Black Swan really isn’t your cup of tea, the third time’s a charm and it gives me a chance to play a great Rolling Stones song on this blog.
I always arrive at films early in order to catch the trailers, of which I’d have to say approximately 90% do justice to what they’re attempting to market. Yet, once in a while, I catch a trailer that, regardless of the quality of the film it depicts, absolutely gives me the chills. More often than not, this is caused by an uncannily brilliant pairing of images and music. Many times the film itself disappoints, yet I go back to the trailer and
Three such films this year (of which I’ve only yet seen one) have sent shivers down my spine. And regardless how these films turn out (Animal Kingdom actually turned out to be phenomenal), their trailers will always stick with me.
So I’ve become a new fan of the website movieclips.com, which allows users to search for particular movie clips based in a keyword or film title.
The best part?
I can make connections (albeit, tenuously) to real life math applications. For instance, today’s lesson on simplifying radicals can be applied in a formula for finding the velocity of a tsunami given it’s depth.
Oh yes, you guessed it. :) Simply had to connect it to this clip.
Two weeks ago, my neighbor excitedly told me that he had already purchased tickets to opening night of the new Iron Man 2, slated for release today. I mentioned that even after seeing the excellent Iron Man a few summers ago, I was feeling a bit ho-hum about the sequel. This instantly started a debate as to whether there were, in fact, any sequels that live up to the original. After much debate, we were able to reach some consensus, and the following is the list we came up with:
I know, I know….that’s not how you pronounce it (phonetically “Ron”), but after years of mispronouncing the title of this epic Kurosawa film, I finally got around to actually seeing it, this past Saturday, during a rainy Los Angeles afternoon. It’s usually this time of year that we can’t really decide if it’s still winter, or whether it might actually be spring.
My students find themselves much in the same dilemma. Some days are fantastic where they ask great questions, show immensely high degrees of intuition, effort, and drive. Other days, like the soggy March rain that comes out of nowhere, seem to suggest otherwise.
Yet, spring is around the corner, and although I’m sure I don’t appreciate it’s coming as much as my Northeast readers certainly do, it’s great to be able to walk outside without a jacket, to breathe the smell of the freshly mown lawn, and to be able to begin trash talking baseball with some of my colleagues.