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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Break Film Festival

Next fall, I'm teaching "Global Politics Through Film" as a section of our Department capstone course. Thus, in search of possible replacement movies for the films I've been using for several years, I've been trying to watch a number of important films on my list of unseen films.

In addition to "In the Loop," not long ago I finally saw "Lord of the Flies" (1990). The story is familiar to most high school English students, but I wanted to see how the film version might work in a contemporary college classroom. Cynthia Weber recommends using the film to illustrate a Hobbesian "state of nature" (anarchy), though she prefers the 1963 British version. Since I didn't find the 1990 version all that compelling, I hope to see the 1963 print before fall.

Monday, I viewed "Paradise Now" (2005), which is about two would-be Palestinian suicide bombers. The film addresses the Israeli occupation from the Palestinian perspective, but various characters make the argument for non-violent means to pursue their legitimate ends. Unfortunately, the version I saved from Encore was dubbed and the voice talent was not appropriate to the film. It seemed to be a fine film for student papers on various subjects, but I will likely not use it for class narrative purposes.

Though it's not really pertinent to my class, on Sunday I watched the politically-themed film "A Face in the Crowd" (1957). Andy Griffith is terrific as a rising media force -- kind of a 1950s Glenn Beck. This comparison to Lonesome Rhodes is common in the blogosphere.

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