In 2019/20, our focus is on ‘sensory cinema’: how film re-presents sensory experience, exploits it as part of the creation of story worlds and sometimes reproduces the sensory feeling in its audiences. Sight and sound are the staple senses of film, but we are looking at movement, the sense of touch and smell, and overall the link between sense experience and feeling of emotion.
In 2018/19, the 25th edition of le Cinema cent ans de jeunesse, we looked at ‘la Situation’: the range of dramatic situations that recur in films, how they are shot and edited, and how they position the spectator. For example, the trope whereby a film opens with a character arriving at an unfamiliar place (think Rebecca, or Edward Scissorhands, Spirited Away, or The Shining); or moments where couples separate at a train station (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; Casablanca; L’Avventura; Terminal Station😉 or indeed where characters are waiting for the arrival of someone at a station (Once Upon a Time in West; The Railway Children; High Noon).
We considered situations that recur in a film, but where the tables are turned (Mandy; City Lights; Rio Bravo; Bicycle Thieves); situations of social embarrassment or shame (Boudu Saved from Drowning; Toni Erdmann; Bicycle Thieves; Imitation of Life; I Was Born But..); situations that pivot on a sudden twist (La Femme du Cote); a whole sub-genre of scenes around billiard tables (Three Times; Vivre sa Vie; A Place in the Sun).
2017/18 saw us focus on the relationship between ‘places’ and ‘stories’: how specific, real, identifiable and unique places, enable specific stories to be told. We looked at creepy houses, ‘outsider places’, at entrances and exits, and at the emotional claims places make on people and characters. Schools from Lincolnshire and London.
In 2016/17 the theme was ‘Play’: all the ways in which games and playing feature in film stories and situations, and the ways in which film-makers themselves ‘play’ in cinema (rarely, it turns out, as shooting is so rigorously planned and managed). Schools from Lincolnshire and London joined us again.
In 2015/16 the theme was ‘Le Meteo’ – weather and climate, tying in with COP21 – the Paris climate change conference in December. We welcome back fuller participation in Scotland, with groups in Dundee, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.
2014/15 theme was L’Intervalle’, or the gaps and spaces in stories and on screen. A group from Tower Hamlets in East London participated in Paris, and a smaller number of groups from Scotland took part. Our loyal Lincolnshire primaries joined again, and Birkenhead Sixth Form Colle joined us.
In 2013/14 the theme was ‘the long take’, or ‘plan sequence.’ The Understanding Cinema group in Scotland grew to 30 workshops, across Highlands and Islands , and down to the Central Belt. Final films were included in public screenings at the Edinburgh International Film Festival – a first for the project
Groups joined us again from Lincolnshire and London.
In 2012/13, for ‘Mettre en Scene’, our partners were 10 primary schools in Lincolnshire, including Long Bennington as the Paris partner; Lambeth secondaries Dunraven, St. Gabriel’s Academy, and London Nautical, with LNS the Paris partner; St. Mark’s Primary School in Holloway again, joined by St. Mary Magdalen IB Film group.
We were delighted this year to welcome groups under the aegis of the Centre for Moving Image in Edinburgh – groups in E’burgh, Glasgow, and Dundee are taking part in ‘Understanding Cinema’, a programme based on Le Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse being looked after by Alasdair Satchel.
In 2011/2012, for ‘real/ fiction’, our partners are Lambeth CLC again, with Dunraven School and St. Andrews Primary Woodhall Spa in Lincs, as the Paris connection. London Nautical are again participating, and we hope St. Catherine’s in Bexleyheath, another 8 or 9 schools in Lincolnshire, and we’ll go to Northern Ireland and Scotland to do some work with teachers there. Film-makers are Sam Lawlor and Emma Sullivan, teachers are Phil Dyas, Chris Waugh, and Julia Waites, and Michelle Cannon is following, reporting, reflecting.
In 2010/11, the theme for the programme was Montrer/ cacher – what is shown or witheld in a film. The partners that year were Lambeth Academy and London Nautical School, again under the auspices of Lambeth CLC, and St. Catherine’s in Bexleyheath. The Lambeth film-makers and tutors were Emma Sullivan and Anna Colom, and Michelle Cannon was watching and evaluating the work, and updating the boys’ progress on this blog. In 2010/2011 we were also delighted that a group of schools in Lincolnshire took up the challenge, with Lincs advisors Jeannie Bulman and Christine Whitney. And on 24 January, Mark Reid took the idea to 24 teachers on the Moving Image Arts programme in Northern Ireland.
In 2009/ 2010, BFI worked with a number of schools and City Learning Centres in south London as part of the Cinémathèque Française programme ‘le Cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse’.
Lambeth CLC, with Director Sarah Horrocks, film-maker Sam Lawlor, and Lambeth Academy and London Nautical School pupils. Lambeth Academy featured 6 mixed year boys, and London Nautical School worked with 14 Year 8 boys. London Nautical completed a ‘compressed’ version of the programme, in the Autumn term of 2009, and in Spring followed the Cinematheque ‘colour’ programme from 2008/09.
Wandsworth City Learning Centre, under the direction of Alex Purssey, worked with BTEC students from Salesian School and Battersea College. The film-makers were Roger Elsgood and Pascal Mindlin.
St. Catherine’s School in Bexleyheath, under the direction of Alexandra Tomlinson, worked with a class of GCSE Media Studies students in Year 10.
Southwark City Learning Centre were represented by Dele Martin, working with St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Saviour’s and St. Olaves, and the Charter School.
At St. Catherine’s, Jack Hayter and Adam Jones were in charge. Katie Jones, from St. Mark’s School in Holloway, north London, joined the programme, and her children’s films were shown at the Southbank in July.