I was in New York last week to catch up with publishers, Rockefeller Center, and theater. We saw two musicals, Side Show and On the Town (thumbs up for both) and the stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (possibly the least rememberable title since Rebecca Stead’s […]
Downers Grove Public Library just finished a large redesign project, and two of the major changes were a brand new Teen Central area and a Digital Media Lab. While the Digital Media Lab is open to all ages, we thought that our teen patrons would be especially excited about this area’s advanced video, music, and […]
We saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night–ehh. Some the intra- and inter-species encounters were quite moving and dramatic but the plot was on automatic and the fabulously watchable Judy Greer was wasted (she could have been completely blotto given that all she had to do was lie there with a suffering […]
If you aren’t completely burned out on dystopian fiction, do go see* Snowpiercer, a big, violent, gorgeous, baroque movie about the end of civilization, its last remnant perpetually traveling the ice-covered globe in a nonstop great big train. There is NO love triangle, with eros limited to a couple of crypto-gay warrior-bonding types, and plenty to […]
Sonic the Hedgehog, the star of over 70 video games since the early 1990s, will finally get to be the star in his own major motion picture. Sony Pictures and Producer Neal Moritz will work with Japan-based production company Marza Animation Planet, a division of Sega Sammy Group, to make a hybrid computer animation/live action […]
Over on child_lit, Cheryl Klein has been asking for titles of books with big reveals, the ones with a surprise that make you rethink the whole thing. Like Gone Girl, The Thief, and most of Robert Cormier. I contributed Gene Kemp’s The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, the 1977 Carnegie-winning title about an obstreperous but […]
Each year around this time, I reconnect with media literacy guru, Frank Baker (@fbaker) about his resources for thoughtfully examining the media messages surrounding those two, too-interesting-not-to-analyze big winter television events–the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl Yesterday, we had another chat. Although Frank is a strong supporter of our work, he believes that it is […]
Do we have any actual evidence that Peter Jackson has gone through puberty? Yes, there’s the beard, and the children, but his Tolkien movies all look like they were conceived and directed by a ten-year-old. I only saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on TV but we saw The Desolation of Smowg in all its […]
The Horn Book’s annual busman’s holiday took us to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks. We laughed, we cried; it’s not a very good movie but the star power and chemistry of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks kept me involved. I hear from more knowledgeable sources that the film is at some distance from […]
Encouraging students to celebrate and use the rich portals of the ever-growing Creative Commons movement to find copyright-friendly media is an instructional no-brainer. Teaching students how and when to flex their fair use muscles–how to decide when their use of copyrighted media is truly transformative–is a greater challenge. But it is a challenge we must […]
I saw Ender’s Game last weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What impressed me most was how much a true children’s movie it is; like Asa Butterfield’s (Ender) previous movie Hugo, Ender’s Game neither winks over children’s heads to an adult audience nor sexes things up for putative YA interest. Although […]
If you know any high school teachers who regularly teach with film or work with learners on building media literacy, you’ll want to share Films for Action and its Wall of Films. This fascinating curation effort moves beyond mainstream film to gather a matrix of more than 500 documentaries, selected for their ability to shift […]
Peter Gutierrez has an excellent essay up over at SLJ about the calls to boycott the just-opening film adaptation of Ender’s Game. As Gutierrez points out and The Wrap confirms in greater detail, a boycott of the film has no impact on Card’s wallet–what you need to do is get people to stop buying his […]
Can creators in essence separate the “super” from the “hero” and still be said to be working with the same character?
The children’s graphic novel Papercutz, already home to the Smurfs, Annoying Orange, and Lego Ninjago graphic novels, is adding another licensed property to its lineup: A series of graphic novels based on the movie Rio, which will fill in the story between the original movie, which came out in 2011, and the sequel, Rio 2, […]
“The key idea is actually a media literacy one related to representation: no one in real life actually looks like an anime or manga character.”
Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s work represents a treasure trove of ideas for those who want to connect domestic spying and the death of privacy to civics, media studies, ICT, and political theory—not to mention information literacy and digital literacy specifically.
The reason such overt silliness is nonetheless so effective is that we all connect with the fantasy of controlling a creature much, much larger than we could ever hope to be.
“Young people are pretty savvy about marketing…They don’t consider something ‘bad’ or ‘annoying’ just because it’s marketing, the way many of us in the previous generation did.”
These posters’ apparently value-free aspect is perhaps what’s most worth exploring with young people…