Movie Madness: Brave Writer goes to the movies

Last year Brave Writer teens hung out with each other and with Jon and me while we watched six classic films together. What a great time we had! The conversation is wildly fun, stimulating, helps kids get a handle on analysis and they do it all while writing. After all, our discussions are conducted online in discussion forums. To participate, your kids will be writing their questions, thoughts, insights and clever jokes to each other and to us. Read more here!

During the year we tend to focus on books (you know, literature). But when the summer comes, we love to break out the DVD player and enjoy films. Movies are a vital part of the Brave Writer lifestyle. Film is its own art form, contains many of the elements found in a novel, but conquers them in the span of about two hours. Additionally, film is rapidly becoming its own subject in a well-rounded education. Even when I was in college, I took a “history of film” course while attending university in France. It’s still one of the ones I remember vividly.

So if you want a way to keep your kids involved in writing and talking, thinking and analyzing, movies are the way to go! This summer’s list is a great blend of classic films (some well-known to your kids and some brand new).

  • Glory (1989)
  • A Room with a View (Merchant Ivory, 1986)
  • The Sting (1973)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Not only do we discuss the films themselves, but we delve into the historical settings for each movie, address cinematic elements, acting, the cultural allusions and metaphors that derive from these stories and address the reason these films in particular are considered some of the great ones!

    And let me just add: Jon (my husband) is hilarious (and a lit professor)! He makes teens feel so good about themselves, keeps them laughing, finds such creative ways to suck them in and make them want to participate. If you haven’t ever had a teen take one of Jon’s classes, now is a great time to get their feet wet. Then they may be all warmed up to take his dynamite Literary Analysis class in the fall.

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    2 Responses to “Movie Madness: Brave Writer goes to the movies”

    1. Anonymous says:

      Hi Julie, I would love to take a moment and tell you how inspirational you have been to me over the last two years, thank you. My son and I love to read a book and then watch the movie version and discuss things such as which did we like better, why were things left out of the movie, visually was our imagination more impressive than the filmmakers budget was able to achieve or if we had been adapting the book to screen what would we have done differently. When we started this a few years ago his answer was almost always” I like the movie better.” Now that he is older, now 9, he quite often prefers the book. As his vocabulary expands and his imagination is able to grasp the richness of the descriptive nature of a good novel, he himself is becoming more interested in writing as well, which is wonderful. I would also like to thank you for teatime Tuesdays, which in our house is Mug-up-Mondays. Mugs of hot cocoa in the winter and mugs of cold smoothies in the summer and some wonderful poetry or a few chapters of a great read, life is good. Thank you again. Catherine

    2. What a great idea! I think it’s fantastic for teens to discover that books and movies can have a lot in common.