Sunday, September 24, 2023

Senior starts a film club at Linganore


Linganore High School in Frederick, Maryland, has its first film club, thanks to Ella Pritchett, the senior film fan who started it, reports Alexa Waser in the school’s student newspaper.

“I’ve always been interested in what happens behind the scenes in film, but when I took a film and production class [at Frederick Community College], we talked about how women and LGBT people are represented in film, and that made me care more about it,” the paper quoted Ella as saying.

“I feel as someone who is a part of many clubs, a lot of them feel like another class,” she added. “I want there to be open discussion, and everyone to feel included, like an equal member. I don’t want it to be so structured. I also want to talk about how different groups are represented in film with my peers. That is really important to me.”

We report this story because, first, the New York Times has been running a series entitled “Film Club” on The Learning Network, a series that will resume Thursday. The final article in the series last year was subtitled “How should we honor and remember those we have lost to Covid?”

Second, we report this because art has much to teach old and young people alike about life. The Times uses film to teach since, as I suspect, many young people are more into movies than books.

Film is a much more “technical” endeavor than writing, as the production of even a 15-minute short requires a host of people, sometimes in the hundreds, working behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera. But as the film industry will point out, that also supports the creation of jobs, which can never be a bad thing but, post-Covid, is a shot needed in the arm as much as any vaccine.

We’re positive the new film club at Linganore will openly explore the learning that the motion picture arts and sciences have to offer and that students will record the lessons they learn. As they record their thoughts, they might use the suggestions in the Times to advance the discussion:

  1. What moments in this film stood out for you? Why?
  2. Were there any surprises? Anything that challenged what you know — or thought you knew?
  3. What messages, emotions or ideas will you take away from this film? Why?
  4. What questions do you still have?
  5. What connections can you make between this film and your own life or experience? Why? Does this film remind you of anything else you’ve read or seen? If so, how and why?

The new film club at Linganore is sponsored by Angela Smithhisler, a performing arts and social studies teacher at the high school. “I think it’s a cool idea for students to appreciate the art of film,” the student newspaper quoted her as saying. “Watch a good movie and pick it apart, or watch a bad movie.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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