Movies for Enrichment

While I assess diction analysis papers, personal essay, and literary analysis essays this week in the evening, I have scheduled enrichment films for my students. Here they are:

Reading A Gathering of Old Men

  • Malcolm X
  • Separate But Equal
  • Mississippi Burning

Reading Frankenstein

  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Frankenstein

Reading The Iliad

  • Troy
  • 300

Any movies you would recommend for these texts? How about for Norse Mythology, Fahrenheit 451, and To Kill A Mockingbird?


6 thoughts on “Movies for Enrichment

  1. mrschili

    Ooooh, tell me more! Malcolm X and Mississippi Burning are two of my ALL TIME favorite movies, yet I’ve not read A Gathering of Old Men. Can you tell me how they relate? Which version of Frankenstein do you have? Is it the green guy with the bolts in his neck?

    Strangely, I’d recommend Forrest Gump for the Iliad – or, at least, I’d mention it. If one looks closely, one sees that Forrest Gump is an epic – it follows almost all the classical rules of that form….

  2. drpezz Post author

    Mrs. Chili – I know what you mean with Forrest Gump, but almost every student I have has seen it. I use it with my youngsters when we cover The Illiad.

    All three of the films deal with equality and the African-American experience. Because A Gathering of Old Men centers on asserting one’s manhood, standing up for one’s beliefs, and how years of abuse and conditioning affect an individual, the films work very well.

    I will use the De Niro version of Frankenstein. I have an option with the final project where the students watch the original Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein and defend, support, or qualify the statement that the films detract from Mary Shelley’s primary themes in her novel.

  3. Hugh ODonnell

    DrP, you MUST read The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, who later wrote Roots. I majored in sociology with concentration in minority groups, and that book is powerful. The movie is based on the book, but you can’t not read it!!! You’ll get more depth from the book than from the movie, and be able to provide better commentary for your students.

    To Kill a Mockingbird should be studied wherever possible! 😉

  4. drpezz Post author

    I have read that autobiography, and it was an amazing read. Granted, I have not read it since high school, but I couldn’t put it down!

  5. paisleyandplaid

    With time so limited, how many films a year do you do? Two seems to me reasonable. Unless it’s an older film or artsy/literary, most kids have seen it. Shakespeare films to accompany the plays are useful and so much more than entertainment.

  6. drpezz Post author

    We watch these outside of class time. I very rarely show more than a quick clip during class. Since these are high school kids, we get pizza together or something like that and camp out in my classroom watching the films projected onto a big wall screen.

    Even some of the films the kids have seen can be viewed in a new way if I direct them to look for specific themes, characterizations, and so on. In one of my classes next week, I’m experimenting with a film unit where we will watch The Matrix and analyze Neo as a Christ-like character. We will also look at the heroic cycle among other things. It should be fun and be an alternate way to teach some of the literary devices in the course.


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