The recent posts about MS videos made me want to share this with you all.
I've been using Netflix as a resource for reviewing art history videos. So
far, many that I've viewed are painfully slow, and incredibly pretentious.
I finally found a gem that could be used on the secondary level. (Most
appropriate for high school, and with a bit of editing - appropriate for
middle school) It's Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre (2005) directed by
Carroll Moore. It's 35 minutes long, but in that amount of time it goes
pretty in depth about life at that time and the development of art in
Montmartre...and amazingly enough, it does it while remaining down to
earth and interesting.
Unfortunately, the DVD isn't divided into chapters, so skipping parts (if
desired) will have to be done by fast forwarding. As far as student
appropriateness - there's some discussion throughout of the "seedy"
aspects of life in Montmartre at the time (prostitutes, drinking, etc). It
doesn't go into graphic detail or anything - mostly just mentioning that
they existed and influenced people. There is, however, a section (maybe
3 minutes long?) towards the end of the video discussing Lautrec's
visitation to brothels, and the paintings that resulted. Again, it's not
very graphic...but it does show one or two artworks with (gasp) a bit of
nudity. When I show it to my middle schoolers, I plan on skipping that
part - not because it offends me, but because I work in a conservative
district (and I have the superintendent's son in my class ;) ). I
figured that I should warn you that it's in there.