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May 13, 2010

What's Up Doc? Some Great (Mostly) Short Films

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new sources of information and unique approaches to learning. I love films, bit it can be difficult to find films that are long enough to tell an interesting story, but short enough to...

...fit into a class session. Plus, feature length films tend to be so long that key scenes are forgotten within the context of the larger story.

Most films, after all, are centered around some key characters who make a discovery or are transformed by their experiences or relationships. In short, these people are learning something!

Every story, including a film, is subject to interpretation. Every character - in fact every viewer - has a distinct point of view. We all see, experience and learn differently - and apply our learning to our lives in unique ways.

Short films, in particular, are wonderful starting points for discussions. They are short enough to remember and usually allow enough time for discussion.

I have used films from the Film Board of Canada for many years. Now, thanks to the internet, many of their films are available online. If you look at their catalog, http://www.nfb.ca/ you can films sorted by title (alphabetically) by category or by decade of production. Films, of course, are available in French or English.

It can be overwhelming at first, so I would recommend browsing through the categories first. If you are looking for films that would appeal to children, you can see a comprehensive list here http://www.nfb.ca/explore-by/title/?genre=2&lang=en&title_range=All&decade=&sort=desc_most_recent.

If you find animated films, for all ages, appealing, look here - http://www.nfb.ca/explore-by/title/?genre=1&lang=en&title_range=All&decade=&sort=desc_most_recent.

If you (or your students) appreciate films that are more unpredictable and experimental, take a look here - http://www.nfb.ca/explore-by/title/?genre=4&lang=en&title_range=All&decade=&sort=desc_most_recent.

I love films like these. I can show them almost anywhere and I can respond to student interests immediately and,of course, you can't beat the price.

For my next post, I'll focus on online documentary films.

We are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foreign foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at May 13, 2010 11:55 AM

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