Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

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colour, musical (rock opera) drama
released: 1973
director: Norman Jewison
starring: Ted Neely, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman
rated: G   (PG would be more accurate, due to the violence – see below.)
length: 1 hr, 48 min

age: 12+

interests: musicals, rock music, theatre, religion, history

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Movie Night: Watching Classic Flicks with Your Young Adult

My eleven-year-old has become more reclusive and immersed in her own activities and projects. She heads up to her room after school and apart from a hastily eaten dinner, I don’t see her again until I have to start bugging her about bedtime.

Okay, so I’ve been feeling a little lonely.

imagesI wanted to reclaim at least one evening a week for us to spend time together, so I announced that from now on Saturday night is Movie Night. We are going to sit down every Saturday night and watch a movie together. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Oh, and we’re going to watch Old Movies.

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Rear Window (1954)

RearWindow_USLC6

Rear Window

colour, thriller/mystery

released: 1954

rated: PG – “for Some Mild Sensuality and Thematic Elements”

length: 1 hr, 52 min

age: 11 +

interests: mystery, crime, murder, suspense More

Maniac Magee

maniacmageeNEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1991

Maniac Magee

by Jerry Spinelli

Age: 9+

Interests: family, city life, orphans, misfits, homelessness, racial tension

Also by this author: Wringer, Milkweed, Stargirl, Loser, Eggs

Other books about racism in America: One Crazy Summer, The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, Smoky Night, Amos Fortune, Free man More

The Book Thief

The_Book_Thief_by_Markus_Zusak_book_cover

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Age: 11 +

Interests: history, WWII, war, Germany, Jewish history, Holocaust, orphans, strong girls More

The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

tale_of_despereaux_ver2

The Tale of Despereaux

released: 2008

rated: G

length: 93 min.

age: 6+

interests: mice, rats, castles, princesses, cooking, updated fairy tales, adventure

Next: read the book!

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Holes (2003)

Holes

Holes

released: 2003

rated: PG for violence, mild language and some thematic elements

length: 117 min.

age: 10+

scary factor: suspenseful scenes with rattlesnake, deadly lizards – nothing a 10 yr old couldn’t handle

violence: two boys fight; one boy whacks a provoking guard in the head with his shovel, knocking him out; in flashback a man is shot (in extreme wide shot – no closeups); Kate then shoots the sheriff in revenge; guards in work camp have guns, but only a lizard is actually shot

language: authentic but rather mild, for teenage boys: damn, hell, crap, Oh, my God… that kind of thing. (According to imdb.com there is one “jackass” but I didn’t even notice it.)

other: flashbacks depict scenes of racial hatred (burning down the school) and vague threat of sexual violence (drunken sheriff tries to force Kate to kiss him)

interests: mystery, desert, prison work camps, bad luck, family history, curses, cowboys, crime and punishment, buried treasure

next: read the book if you haven’t! Holes by Louis Sachar

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Film Club and Cultural Literacy

Here’s a TED talk about visual literacy through watching old movies, similar to what Martin Scorsese talks about here.

What do you think? I’m a big fan of showing old movies to kids, and I think showing them movies that are radically different from current offerings (ie. historical settings, foreign stories, subtitles, art films, experimental narratives, silent movies, etc.) serves to broaden their experience and knowledge of film and of the world.

So many movies today, especially ones made for kids, are such formulaic, pandering pieces of junk that I can’t help but worry that we’re limiting the very scope of their imaginations. As well as shredding their attention spans and ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Too fast, too loud, too violent. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – watching old movies is a wonderful way of slowing down the frenetic pace of our lives and opening up a window to other times and places.

Related posts:

Watching Old Movies

Click on “Old Movies” in Categories over there on the right, to see all the old movies I’ve reviewed.

The Incredible Journey (1963)

The Incredible Journey (film)

The Incredible Journey

Released: 1963

Rated: G

Length: 80 min

Age: 3+

Scary Factor: various dangerous situations for animals are rather tamely presented, not disturbing at all, and no notable injuries are sustained; cat is swept away in river but later rescued; a man shoots at dog rummaging in garbage can, but mainly to scare him away; cat is chased by a lynx but escapes

Interests: pets, cats, dogs, wilderness, nature, Canada, adventure

Next: read the book The Incredible Journey

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Fantasia (1940)

Fantasia (film)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Released: 1940

Rated: G

Length: 120 – 124 min. (varies depending on what version you have)

Age: some parts 3+, others 5+ (see below)  Commonsense Media sez: 6 +

Scary Factor: Mickey attacks renegade broom with an axe and savagely chops it to bits; battle to the death between two dinosaurs; a gigantic devil rises over a mountain commanding a host of demons, the dead rise from their graves

Also: some modest (dare I say artful) nudity among fairies and mythological creatures; much wine drunk by very tipsy god Bacchus

Interests: classical music, fairies, mythology, dinosaurs, ballet

Next: the movie Fantasia 2000; live symphony concerts for children; Nutcracker ballet live or movie version
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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.