Friday, 18 November 2011

Power cuts and paper research

We had a power cut this morning in work - boy does it make you realise how reliant on computers we are! However luckily I had some paper based work I could get on with.  I was searching through 'The Woman Teacher' (the journal of the National Union of Women Teachers) for a report from a women teacher who moved to Italy in 1946/1947.  I found what I was looking for (a blog post on this will follow shortly on the NUWT blog) and I also found lots of other interesting information, particularly relating to film and children.  The NUWT were very concerned with the impact of increased cinema attendance on children and the types of films they were seeing.  They were also quite pioneering in their promotion of the use of film as an educational tool in the classroom.  However as you can see from the report below, some of them might have been slightly lacking in a sense of humour when it came to films and cinema!

image from 'The Woman Teacher', NUWT Collection ref: UWT/H/1/41 ©Institute of Education Archive

This is from the 27 September 1946 edition of 'The Woman Teacher' and the notice is called 'At the Academy Cinema'.  It begins by talking about a film being shown at the Academy cinema which they did think was worthwhile, a film Children on trial made by the Crown Film Unit.  This film was about three children in their teens who have drifted into crime being given the chance to become 'good citizens'. Now I can understand that from their viewpoint this would be a good educational film to show children but really you'd think they'd still have been able to take Zero de Conduite as the 'satirical phantasy' they describe it as rather than being so humourless about it.  I mean really -
'one cannot help wondering what kind of audience could find it even amusing'
- well I can imagine that most children watching would find it highly amusing as would a great many adults, thinking back to their school days.

I wonder what they'd have made of Lindsay Anderson's If.... then (influenced by Zero de Conduite) - where the children gun down their parents and teachers in an epic attack from the school roof.

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