Film Studies is a brand new class that was introduced at Battlefield for the 2018-2019 school year. The class is taught by English teacher, Kristin Henry. The course looks at movies from different time periods and genres to give Bobcats more of a diverse knowledge of film. The following is a Q and A with Henry on everything students need to know about the class.
Have you taught the class before?
Yes, I taught the class at Forest Park High School for a few years. I started with one section and by the time I left there were three sections of Film Studies classes.
What was the process like getting this class to Battlefield?
I spoke to Mr. Childress about adding the class as an elective and then worked with the guidance department. I spoke to my own English classes and made sure the word was out during scheduling time that there was a new English elective offered.
Why did you want to bring this class to Battlefield?
I really enjoyed teaching the class at Forest Park and I hoped students here would want the opportunity to take an English elective that wasn’t necessarily focused on reading or writing but still felt like an English class.
How is the curriculum set up?
We study the history of cinema, film terms, and watch film clips and entire films in class. I want students to be exposed to films they wouldn’t necessarily watch and them to feel comfortable discussing how a film is made.
What is the main goal of the class?
My overall goal is for students to watch a movie with a critical eye. We take notes on cinematic terms (similar to an English class with literary terms) and study how a film utilizes things like color, camera angles, sound, etc. to symbolize something. I realize most of us watch movies for entertainment, however, I do feel that knowing more about how movies are made can make for a better viewing experience.
What kinds of films do you watch in the class? Do you go in a particular order?
I do start each year with a brief history of film and classic silent movies. After silent movies, we tend to group by genre/themes as well as viewing clips to help understand film terms.
What do you like about movies so much?
I love movies the same way I love literature: the ability to escape to another place, world, time, etc. I love how a movie soundtrack influences the mood of a scene and how the use of colors can symbolize certain ideas. I love showing films to my students and seeing their reactions, especially if they end up enjoying a film they thought they would not have liked.
If any student is thinking of taking the class next year, what should they know?
It is a great English elective to take if you enjoy watching all kinds of movies and you want to know more about how movies are made or why filmmakers make certain choices in filming.