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A class for movies?

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“Literacy through Film” is a class headed by Mr. Culbara that focuses on synthesizing films from various times and countries. The class delves into different techniques present throughout different eras of filmography, stretching all the way back to the silent era to present day films. Discussions about choices a director will make, visual cues, the different technologies present during the era, and things like overshadowing and themes present in plot lines are just a few topics the class will cover during a film and throughout the year.

Many of the films that they view come from foreign places such as China, Africa, France, and Peru. Different ideals, storytelling, and filming techniques are often present in these exotic films. Students enjoy, “the fact that [Mr. Culbara] chooses actually good films, ranging from now to the unseen classics” according to Avi Patel, who is a junior currently taking the class.

A large part of the class deals with understanding how to read and understand the visual formats that have become prevalent throughout the past century. This is best put by Mr. Culbara:

Having an understanding of how visual and video culture work is good for anybody because it’s pretty much the world we live in now. We teach students how to read books and read poems but we don’t really teach them how to read video images or how they are created. I think that’s just good for anybody to know in our time.

This elective is the only class to stem from an extracurricular activity. Originally students would watch a film in Culbara’s English class once a month after school and discuss different portions of the film. These get-togethers eventually got popular enough to prompt the idea for the class that we know today to be formed.  

It is generally recommended for upperclassmen to take literacy through film since the class is less strenuous and juniors and seniors typically have an elective spot to fill.

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A class for movies?