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Re: [teacherartexchange] videos etc

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From: chris massingill (chris_massingill_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 16 2006 - 16:03:31 PST


Maybe I missed a part of this thread, but has anyone
mentioned ART:21? The three season series put out by
PBS? I used this with college sophmores, but I
haven't tried it with younger kids yet. I of course,
find it very engaging and appropriate, but I'm not
sure how my 5th & 6th graders would like it.

However, they do really like the "Getting to know"
series by Mike Venezia. It has alot of humorous
moments to keep the students engaged, and they seem to
like it better than the interview format of the
"Dropping in Videos" although they seem to like puffer
the penguin quite well.

I showed them one of the "behind the scenes" videos
from PBS last quarter and they seemed to like that as
well so I would recommend although there are a couple
of abstact nudes in the one with David Hockney.

chris in central arkansas

--- ejb35@columbia.edu wrote:

> When I began teaching in the early 70s videos were
> new and students
> were excited by them. The technology grabbed them.
> Even a "dry"
> program like the one based on Kenneth Clark's
> "Civilization." Now
> they are blaze. The lights go down and the heads go
> down. The
> programs have to be very well-paced and interesting.
>
> "Art of the Western World" is still pretty good, but
> the company has
> yet to supply it on DVD or remaster it. It is kind
> of clunky. I
> happen to like the narrator, Michael Wood, editor of
> the excellent
> textbook that accompanies the series. But he has
> floppy hair and it
> flies around in the wind. He often seems to be
> standing in the wind.
> Still, I recommend it.
>
> History Through Art has a fairly new wrap-around
> woman narrator who
> introduces the different eras but this wrap-around
> leads into video
> that is from the 70s with a jarring, loud jazz track
> that sometimes
> overwhelms the narration. The quality of my set is
> not good because
> I still have videos and the art works are faded. I
> do show the ones
> on the Renaissance because of the good content. The
> program is now
> out in DVD. I have not seen these.
>
> I can't understand why the companies that make
> videos and DVDs don't
> realize how much a talking head dates the work or
> even makes it
> ridiculous. My students laugh at one video where
> three talking
> heads show what not to do. One man covers his mouth
> and talks into
> his beard, a woman is badly groomed and overly
> enthusiastic. One
> student blurted out that she "looks like a witch."
> Another woman
> has a speech impediment and a veddy posh British
> accent that is
> difficult to understand for starters, even without
> the strong lisp.
>
> These kinds of experts are just distracting, and
> students will
> always find things to criticize.
>
> Most documentaries are boring. Even Ken Burns's
> recent documentary
> about Andy Warhol (4 hours) could have been a lot
> better. Material
> was repeated as was footage. Andy was portrayed as a
> stunt. Dazed
> and confused Factory folk were just sad to see.
> There was too much
> about personalities and "stars" and experts who told
> you how great
> he was, rather than an effort at making the art
> accessible. More
> time could have been spent on the roots of
> contemporary art to
> better contextualize Warhol.
>
> I showed a video last year about art in Spain and
> the narrator
> actually mispronounced art terms and stumbled over
> others. The
> filmmaker's relative, perhaps?
>
> Whenever I rent an audio guide at the Met and listen
> to Philippe de
> Montabello's narration I wish that he could narrate
> videos based on
> the Met's collection. he has a great voice.
>
> I got a DVD on Jackson Pollock from Netflix that is
> wonderful. My
> students enjoyed it. When they saw his work at MOMA
> they were
> pleased that they recognized it and were able to
> talk about it.
>
> My photography students appreciated a good DVD I got
> at the ICP on
> Walker Evans. It really enhanced our visit to the
> current show of
> his work at UBS, produced by Yale. It was a good
> primer on the
> difference between digital printing vs. wet lab.
>
> Next semester I am having students make their own
> programs in Power
> Point. I did this a couple years ago and some were
> very
> successful. I have to remember to ask them not to
> use the sound
> effects!
>
> Based on the recent experience of an art teacher
> being fired for a
> student seeing nudes (by accident) in a museum I
> would not show a
> program to kids that even mentions the bleak side of
> Montmartre. I
> would have the principal preview it with you. I plan
> to show that
> DVD to college students before we go to France this
> May. I would
> hesitate to show it to even HS students if you are
> in a
> conservative community, at least not without it
> being seen by
> superiors and maybe a few parents. Just respecting
> them enough to
> ask their opinons can open minds.
>
> Speaking of advocacy, the promotions in the NYT
> full-page about
> artists that has very clever headlines won't
> encourage parents to
> ask for more art in the schools. I give you
> Caravaggio. I don't
> think pointing out how much artists suffer and how
> unconventional
> they are is a very convincing promotinal device for
> more art in the
> schools. The "Got Art" ads in our professional
> magazines show
> students daubed with paint on their faces - just
> reinforce a
> stereotype. Other ads show students holding art
> works that they
> supposedly created that could only have been done by
> older people
> and probably by professionals.
>
> Just letting off steam here.
>
> I would be happy to hear more about really good DVDs
> and even
> videos. Thanks.
>
> Jane in Brooklyn
>
> ---
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