Monday 29 July 2019

Project 95: Films

With a heat wave expected we picked Films, a project where we could spend most of the week indoors in the dark - after all, there's not a lot of fun dragging three small children out in the burning sun!

We watched a number of films over the week, from silent films through to the modern CGI blockbusters, from The Great Train Robbery (1903) through to The Kid Who Would Be King (2019). Along the way we watched Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, the Wizard of Oz, and Labyrinth.

It's always nice to introduce the children to a world of films beyond the current crop of animation and CGI, and I'm always amazed how some of the classics can hold their attention.The Marx Brother's Duck Soup was one of the favourites of the week, and I can honestly say I have never known our children laugh so much at a film!
We've watch the Wizard of Oz before (see Project 24: World Book Day and the Wizard of Oz), but it was nonetheless nice to watch it again in the context of moving from black and white through to colour, and also as a great example of the hero's journey which we discussed at length having introduced it previously (see Project 33: Ancient Greece).

Similarly, Labyrinth was also a cross-over film, not only a great example of what could be achieved before the modern glut of CGI, but it also included the beginnings of  CGI with what is considered to be the first realistic CGI animal to appear on the big screen. It was also a nice excuse to introduce the children to a bit of family history, as the children's great grandfather had been an extra in Jennifer Connolly's first acting role in Tales of the Unexpected: Stranger in Town

We explored how the brain is tricked into seeing moving images by making flick books and thaumatropes, and finally finished with making a simple stop-go animation film using the Stikbot Studio App.
Flick books and thaumatropes

Next week's project: The Fens

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