Better Off Dead

NOTE TO SUBS:  AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH PERIOD, PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THAT DAY'S CLASSWORK, THEN PLAY ONLY THE 30-MINUTE SECTION OF THE FILM INDICATED. 

YOU CAN PLAY IT DIRECTLY FROM THIS PAGE. 

AT THE END OF EACH PERIOD, PLEASE COLLECT

THE STUDENTS' WORK, AND PLACE IN IT A MANILA FOLDER. 

SUB PLANS: Mon Dec 9 - Fri Dec 13

(MONDAY'S WORK IS A CARRY-OVER FROM LAST WEEK, & IS LISTED AT THE BOTTOM)

NOTE: THE FILM (Better Off Dead, 1985) IS LINKED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

The class should watch this film in 30-minute increments, listing observation and analysis as follows:

TUE DEC 10

Watch 0:00-30:00

Make notes on the CAMERA MOVEMENT.  How are the characters arranged on the screen?

Note how, in the sleepy opening, the camera pans and zooms slowly, creating a sedate mood. 

The bicycle fast-movement scenes interjected against the slow opening scenes is jarring and unexpected.

 

On your paper, try to list as many camera movements as you can for the first 30 minutes. 

Make abbreviations, then go back and fill in the details with the remaining 15 minutes of class. 

Make sure that you go beyond just listing how the camera moves - discuss how it affects the mood of the film.

REMINDER: WORK SHOULD HAVE YOUR NAME AND THE DATE ON IT, AND BE TURNED IN TO THE SUB! 

IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE ZEROES IN THE GRADEBOOK.

WED DEC 11

Re-Watch 0:00-30:00

This time, write notes about the COMEDIC ELEMENTS of the film. 

Not the things YOU think are funny; the things that are INTENDED to be funny.

EXAMPLES: In the first 2 minutes of the film:

1. The cartoon in the beginning, i.e. Savage Steve Holland Productions

2. The hundreds of photos of one girl, one of which the protagonist kissed good morning

3. The socks

4. The rubber ducky

REMINDER: WORK SHOULD HAVE YOUR NAME AND THE DATE ON IT, AND BE TURNED IN TO THE SUB! 

IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE ZEROES IN THE GRADEBOOK.

THU DEC 12

Watch 30:00-59:25  (FREEZE ON LIQUOR EXPLOSION) 

Continue to list the COMEDIC ELEMENTS of the film, but also create a second list of DARK ELEMENTS as well (suicide, insanity, etc.).

REMINDER: WORK SHOULD HAVE YOUR NAME AND THE DATE ON IT, AND BE TURNED IN TO THE SUB! 

IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE ZEROES IN THE GRADEBOOK.

FRI DEC 13

Watch 59:25-END OF FILM

This time, have some fun.  Make notes of each FILM TROPE.

Extra credit for pointing out painfully 80's examples!

(A FILM TROPE is an element that is used (usually OVER-used) in film. 

Examples from earlier in this film include the high school lunchroom divided by clique,

The fat guy whose a little too dependent on his mother, and the slapstick explosion of the liquor).

REMINDER: WORK SHOULD HAVE YOUR NAME AND THE DATE ON IT, AND BE TURNED IN TO THE SUB! 

IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE ZEROES IN THE GRADEBOOK.

 

MONDAY'S ASSIGNMENT

MON DEC 9:

The Summary Assignment, Due Tuesday Dec 10:

......................................

This counts as a PRODUCT grade, and completion should be attempted in class, but may be finished at home, and submitted on Tuesday Dec 10 (hopefully to ME, but if I'm not back, to the sub) -

In 3 paragraphs (5-7 sentences each), answer the following questions.  Use your Journals as references, and provide SPECIFIC examples that support your claims. 

Paragraph Response #1) Orson Welles is considered one of the greatest directors of American Film.  What about this film would support that claim? 

Paragraph Response #2) Welles is highly regarded for (among other things) finding camera angles that emphasize the mood of the scene.  Where does that happen in this film?  and

Paragraph Response #3) Although the film is 73 years old, it stands as a great example of filmmaking.  Why do you think that is?

Better Off Dead

© 2019 by F. Clarke

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