The transition of this workshop READING FILM from a journal publication to a website, was an educational one. I had to think in terms of "pages" instead of "frames" or "pictures" which is the culture that I encourage when teaching students to read film.
The amount of alphabet literacy that is needed to read the website Global film Reading, did not mesh with my intention that students move away from alphabet forms of communication to other symbol systems. This effort to communicate beyond words from a language like English, Spanish, or Arabic, for instance, is part of the work in helping students to become more global in their approach to communicating across cultural norms set up in formal schooling.
Reading and writing, in this course for pre-service teachers, is described in non-traditional terms so that students see "signs" in different communication systems like television use of color, lighting, costumes, ages of actors, the style of dialogue, use of music, and transitions from interior to exterior scenes.
What the website has created is a "prompt" for students to begin the journey in discovering a way to use their knowledge of the world outside the boundaries of the word, whatever the language, to the movie screen or television script.
Hopefully, others will find these student reflections useful to enhancing their own journey into non-alphabet forms of communication like film, music, color, and dance movement.
Here are some of the student reflections gathered in the two sections of the class where the Global Film Reading website was used in the film reading unit for Spring 2012
GLOBAL FILM READING
I thought the videos were the most global. Each story in the videos had a specific international perspective. The story about weapons of mass destruction appeals globally, obviously, and the story of the badger was international in that I believe the character was Australian, and the three teenagers were Indian I believe [?]. This story told the most with no dialogue whatsoever. The comic strips were international in that we did not have to use our language to tell the story. I believe the shots were the story.
By accessing this website, students will be faced with many pieces of art that are from all parts of the world. Discussions could be started why one country reacts in a certain way compared to ours. On an art level, one could talk about why certain colors were used more often or why a certain font type was used.
Students will be f[or]ced to ask questions why certain aspects of art were used to express feelings versus others.
It’s also very helpful seeing resources for anyone who would like to look further in the material.
I feel like the use of these visual arts could be very useful in global learning. We may not always be able to understand other people in terms of the language they speak, but we can almost always tell how a person feels by the emotions and expressions they give off. By being able to read film, you can elaborate on the emotions that are being expressed in the frames of the film and that can be valuable to the learner. All types of learners all over the world can interpret graphic visuals and seeing these visuals can help them see different perspectives.
I really like the “film clips to read” page. It goes to show you that you do not need to hear and understand the words to get the point of the story. I feel that I understood the point of the scene even though I didn’t understand the language.
The camera work helped a lot like the comic book frames with a lot of medium shots as well as a few long shots. I feel that it made the story more personable.
I think this site would be good for global use and perspectives. The comic strips seem like they can be understood by a wide variety of cultures, and the videos do a nice job of this as well. The Indie video was the best image/video on the site. (Unreadable) words and everything was based off movement and nonverbal.