Cinema Club is something I started last year when I decided to homeschool A. Cinema Club is whatever you want it to be; while we watch a good number of films, not all films are of the caliber that can make it to our Club. I watch the film first, then develop questions for free-response answers (I find multiple choice does not afford full value of the assignment). I allow anywhere from 1/3 page space to an full page for answers.
Our first film was "Dead Poets Society" - a somewhat grown-up film, but as we ourselves have had a suicide in the family, I felt the plot might be still "young enough" for A to explore that very personal issue, in a safe and structured way. So here is an example of what Cinema Club is for us...
"Dead Poets Society" - Cinema Club assignment #1
1. You know what "carpe diem" means in the dictionary. What do you think it meant to Mr. Keating?
2. How did the poetry book used for Dead Poets Society meetings get into Neil's room? Who do you think put it there? Why do you think it was put there?
3. After watching the entire film, who are the students that you think figured out what "carpe diem" meant? What did they do?
4. Which student do you think you are like most in the film? Why?
5. Neil makes a drastic decision in the movie. a) Why did he choose suicide? Explain fully and thoughtfully, keeping in mind his character, the characters of his family in the film, and what he learned under Mr. Keating's teachings. b) Was suicide his only answer? If you had a chance to be Neil, explain what you would have done differently.
6. I am from Planet Deadpoetsurnia. I have just walked into the Wellton classroom at the end of the film, and Todd is standing on his desk. So are a lot of other students in that English classroom. I don't understand what is going on!! Is Todd actually trying to say something by standing on his desk? Can you tell me what it is?
7. Fun question: What is a Pirate of the Carpe Diem? [note: A has a blog of a similar name]
8. Mr. Keating talks about going to the beach and getting copies of Byron kicked in his face. Take a look at the Mr. Atlas cartoon (attached) and see if you understand Mr. Keating's joke. The Mr. Atlas cartoon was very popular in the 1950s!!!