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August 23, 2011

Vimeo Anyone?

I've always liked movies. Most students like movies, but who has the time to see them and set aside time to...

...talk about them?

Short films are a great solution. Most of them run an hour or less.

I like to show a short 10-15 minute film and then talk about it or have students write about it. These films can be great discussion starters.

Besides the content or stories shown in short films, I like short films because many of them are made by amateurs or students who are operating on a low - or even tiny - budget.

Perhaps these short films might inspire you or your students to tell the story of your family, neighborhood or city.

Something else I love about short films is that many of them are available online for free.

Youtube is a great source, but I find it hard to navigate and find what I am looking for.

Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/join) has a better selection of quality videos. In fact be sure to check out the Vimeo staff picks of the best videos here http://vimeo.com/staffpicks.

I've seen a few great short films lately. These should give you a good sense of what is out there and, of course, might inspire you to make your own.

The Thomas Beale Cipher (http://thomasbealecipher.com/) is a visually rich story that might intrigue those who like unsolved mysteries. Be sure to look into how they incorporate textures into the animation.

Pioneer directed by David Lowery is a low-frills focus on story-telling. You can see an interview with the director here http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2011/01/pioneer%E2%80%9D-director-david-lowery/ and see the film on Vimeo or check out the Facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pioneer-Short-Film/188864141124618.

For an absolutely surreal cinematic adventure, don't miss West of the Moon by Brent Bonacorso http://www.westofthemoonthefilm.com/WEST_OF_THE_MOON/WEST_OF_THE_MOON.html.

There's a wealth of information and resources online. Send us any links that you think any teachers, students or even just regular curious people might find interesting or useful. Let us all know about words that make you crazy, aspects of language and expression you find challenging, and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning 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, USA and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA). And, as much as Morf loves writing this blog, he is always open to other opportunities either blogging or teaching. This coming September Morf just might be available to visit your school or area and tell some unforgettable stories. You can contact him at mmorf@mail.com.

Posted by mmorf at August 23, 2011 10:47 AM


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