I ordered A&E's boxed set of videos on Impressionism..... While the series
is exceptionally well done (PLUS there's a teacher's guide available for
it), there's a lot of nudity in the first film--all of it showing one of the
"formal" studios that most of the Impressionists rejected.
As I previewed it, I thought, okay, I'll let this slide--but then it went
BACK to the studio two or three more times and I figured that was just
pushing it a little so I didn't show it. Unfortunate, but given the
maturity level of some of my upper school kids, I felt that there was a bit
too much emphasis on the studio (even though it would be fine for more
I showed "Lust for Life" this winter, which is the biography of Vincent Van
Gogh, starring Kirk Douglas. While some of the kids snickered at the acting
(which they thought was a little ....broad...), it was a pretty good film
and I think they got a lot out of it.
When I've done units on Australia with upper elementary or young middlers, I
usually show the National Geographic kid video "Wonders Down Under" so they
can see a lot of the different animals.
I also show various "real" movies to help set the theme for projects. In
the past, I've showed "Little Buddha," "Labyrinth," and "Dark Crystal," and
I might show "Johnny Tremain" to my middlers who are in the Colonial Arts
rotation (need to preview it first--it's been a while since I've seen it).
I recently showed a video on Frida Kahlo, and despite some of her disturbing
images, I felt it was okay for the kids and they handled it well.
I especially like movies that show how things were *made* for a movie--"Dark
Crystal" has an excellent behind the scenes look at the making of the
movie's creatures and puppets.
Sometimes I show the full movies and other times just excerpts--I hate to
give up too much studio time, and so do the kids!