Welcome to Senior English & Film! I hope you will enjoy this course as much as I do, and I look forward to working with each of you to understand how films and visual culture shape our culture and us as individuals.
Our Guiding Essential Questions:
- What does it mean to be an engaged, active viewer in the 21st century?
- How is our understanding of the world both impacted by and reflected in images? What is the nature of this relationship?
- How are media messages constructed using a creative language to convey unique points of view?
- What composition skills are necessary to effectively communicate and participate in today’s world?
While this course is looks primarily at film, we will look at a variety of media and texts. This is not a production course, so while there will be some opportunities for you to work with imagery, this course is aimed at deepening your ability to LOOK and understand the medium rather than create.
In addition to the films listed, you will also have some assignments that require you to choose the film or other media you examine.
Units & Potential Films
I do not teach the same films and units every semester, but here are the potential films we will watch and discuss
Intro to Cinematic Language & Reading a Film Like a Text
- Hitchock, Alfred. North by Northwest, 1959, Approved
- Other Hitchcock film
Visual Culture: Images, Power, Politics
- Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, 2010, Rated R
- Coppola, Sofia. Marie Antoinette, 2006, Rated PG-13
- Cuaron, Alfonso, director. Children of Men. NBC Universal, 2007. Rated R
- Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 2010, Rated G
Vision & Justice
- Lee, Spike. Do the Right Thing, 1989. R
- –. BlackKklansman, 2018. Rated R.
Gender Representations & Film Noir
- group viewings (Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity,
Out of the Past, The Big Sleep, Sunset Boulevard)
- Michael Curtiz, Casablanca, 1942, PG
- Jean-Luc Godard, Breathless, 1960, Unrated
Seeing the World: Cinema and other cultures
- Asghar Farhadi, A Separation, 2011, PG-13
- Asghar Farhadi, The Salesman, 2016, PG-13
Teen Cinema: Youth Representation
- Matt Wolf, Teenage, 2013, Unrated (Commonsensemedia.org 14+up)
Sci-fi, Horror, and the Mythical: Society’s Anxieties
- George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015, Rated R
- Folder or binder for handouts
- Composition Notebook
As seniors, I expect that you act as the mature, young adults you are. You should be at the pinnacle of maturity and come to class ready to work, participate, and think everyday. If you follow the basic principle of respect –RESPECT the class, the teacher, and yourself – then you are meeting expectations.
Here are a few basic guidelines:
- Show up to class every day prepared to think and actively participate. This begins with your notebook, a pen or pencil, and the reading materials on your desk when the bell rings.
- It is now school policy not to have your phones out during class. Turn the phones off and put them away when we are not using them for learning purposes. I see them. I hear them. I take them.
- Class starts when the bell rings. If the bell rings and I have started class, it is considered a tardy and will be recorded as such. Be on time. Don’t accumulate unnecessary unexcused absences. It is up to you to keep track of your absence points.
- Late work- I do not assign busy work. Your homework, classwork, and other assignments are a necessary component of the class for YOUR understanding of the material. Therefore, work is due when it is due.
- For some assignments late work is accepted with the following penalties: 5% turned in after deadline but by the end of the same day; 10% turned in the following day; 20% turned in the second day; 30% turned in the third day, and no late work accepted after the third day.
We’ll be using the Learning Rubric to assess your learning against the course outcomes together. In the coming days, we’ll define how the learning rubric works and what it looks like in the AP Literature classroom, defining it for our use. The expectation is that you are making use of materials and feedback to assist your growth in your own learning as related to your cognitive/academic engagement and your personal/behavioral engagement. In addition to my feedback on your performance, you will also self-assess. Your grade will be a combination of assignments (some may be self-selected), reflections and observations of your learning.
- Exam: 15%
I expect that all writing is from your point of view and in your unique voice. I want to hear what you have to say. If you submit work that is partially or wholly not your own, you fail to demonstrate your own learning. Administration will be notified. This is a zero tolerance policy.
- If you find that you’re behind in your work, communicate with me and let’s make a plan.
- If you find that the assignment is difficult or you do not understand the concepts or the assignment, communicate with me and let’s make a plan.
- If you’re not sure how to cite something, let’s work on it.
- I’m here to help you with your writing and learning.
- There is no reason to submit work that is partially or wholly not your own.
Planning periods and appointments: I highly encourage you to come see me during my preps and before and after school if you have questions about assignments or need additional help. In most cases, I can be found in the classroom or the English Office.
A Note to Parents
Many of the films deal with mature subjects. Please take the time to review the list of films to be sure there is nothing you find objectionable. The R ratings for films on the viewing list seem to be because of the language and mature subject matter. If there is a film you have further questions about, please do not hesitate to contact me. If necessary, arrangements can be made for an alternate film viewing. In no way will alternate film viewings affect a student’s grade.