When it comes to movies, it doesn’t take much to prompt my excitement. From the latest additions to Netlflix’s growing library to casual reflections on the latest Hollywood blockbuster, I believe my DNA may be abnormally linked to that of the first cinephile primate. There’s just something about the process of film-making and the reading of film as a cultural, social and political property that provokes and challenges me to be expressive, creative and critical in my communicative discourse.
In regards to my return to the classroom after a spending three years in a system resource role, I have been motivated to ensure that my students understand the active role that film (and all mass communications) plays in shaping, shifting, evolving, curating and sharing ideas and values. From my Communications Technology class where students both learn how to read and produce new media to my Religion studies course where mass media is being analyzed as a new and evolving form of scripture, it is urgent for students to understand their role as both consumer and producer of big ideas and meaning (The importance of Semiotics Theory cannot be lost).
Today, with the big idea in mind, was a rejuvenating reminder that I’m not alone in my love of all things movies and importantly in the desire to share my critical voice through creative process. Today was the first school year meeting on the Chaminade Film Club (or perhaps it should be called Chaminade Film Society – CFS). With a healthy turnout of roughly twenty-five students, the conversation was rich, meaningful and the student desire to create stories was contagious. This turnout is importantly significant in an all-boys school where athletics plays such a important role. With that, there is a community to be nurtured and the boys who attended today seem ready for a challenging, provoking, creative and meaningful adventure. They want to create – they want their voices to be heard.
So we begin on this new adventure. First off, will be the creation of a horror film produced in time for Halloween and screened for the school and wider community online through the digital publication called “The Collective.” This publication will be the holding tank for all film club productions and all school works that represent creative, critical and discerning voices. At time when education is trapped in a recycled dialogue about competencies, fluencies and everything in between, my hope is to reinforce what I have always believed in. Technology is only meaningful when critical, challenging, reflective, and creative voices are being shaped and shared.
Let it begin.
On a side, a very special thanks to my colleague Joe Costa who welcomed me as a co-moderator of the Film Club which he started just last year. His generosity is a true example of teacher collaboration and a dedication to student achievement.