Cinematheque project teachers came to Fosse Way Primary in Lincoln last Thursday to share progress on this year’s theme ‘la Situation’. We met Ivor from Legsby, Mark and Guy from North Summercotes, Emma from Brierley Forest in Notts, and Rob from Fosse Way, convened by Christine Whitney.
Exercise 1 asks children to respond to some paintings chosen because of their compelling situations (https://markreid1895.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/images-for-exercise-1/). The David Hockney painting turned out to be surprisingly popular with children, maybe because it’s enigmatic, or because it’s colourful. We talked about the difference between children recording improvised voice-over responses while filming the painting, as opposed to putting a still of the painting in an iMovie timeline and having children record scripted voice over. We found that children can speak for longer when they’re improvising, and pointing to features of the image. One boy from Legsby spent a good two minutes talking us through the Tissot painting, noticing the man’s discarded hat, the samovar, the looks on the characters’ faces.
We asked what the groups had been watching, and which films from this year’s list were popular. Emma’s group in Brierley Forest had just watched The Letter that morning – one of last year’s final films, made by the Children’s Film Academy in Mumbai. They liked the wide shot of the boy arriving on the bike, and a shot of the silent protagonist in foreground, with oblivious kite flying boy in the background.
North Summercotes watched The Balcony, though unlike this link, their version had no subtitles! Mark and Guy proved that children will watch films in different languages if the stories and characters are engaging.
N Summercotes had also begun Exercise 2, to film a sequence of 4 shots/ 2 minutes maximum in which two people are brought together by a ‘situation’. The rubric says 2 minutes max, but the children interpreted this as two minutes full stop, so some of the shots are very extended – to varying effect. Some of the pieces make beautiful use of the strong shadows of winter light, and flip between black and white and colour to powerful effect. Watch them here: http://blog.cinematheque.fr/100ans20182019/author/northsomercotes/