Cinema is arguably the 20th century’s most influential art form. Its artists told stories across national boundaries, in as many languages, genres and philosophies as one can imagine. Indeed, it is hard to find a subject that film has yet to tackle. During the last decade we’ve seen a vast integration of global media, now dominated by a culture of the Hollywood blockbuster. We are increasingly offered a diet in which sensation, not story, is king. What was common to us all 40 years ago — the telling of stories between generations — is now rarified. As a filmmaker, it worried me. As a human being, it puts the fear of God in me. What future could the young build with so little grasp of where they’ve come from and so few narratives of what’s possible? The irony is palpable; technical access has never been greater,cultural access never weaker.
And so in 2006 we set up FILMCLUB, an organization that ran weekly film screenings in schools followed by discussions. If we could raid the annals of 100 years of film, maybe we could build a narrative that would deliver meaning to the fragmented and restless world of the young. Given the access to technology, even a school in a tiny rural hamlet could project a DVD onto a white board.
You must check out Film Club’s recommended films for various ages – from 5+ to 16+.