Fine Arts

Fine Arts (X) - ELA (X) - POV (X)

Johnny Cash: Personal Narratives Inspired by Johnny Cash

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This lesson plan is designed to be used with the 1969 documentary, Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, which shows a collection of scenes from Cash's life and a number of concert performances. Since Cash's songs frequently reflected his life experiences, classrooms can use his music to inspire personal narratives.

The Last Conquistador: Should Tax Dollars Fund Controversial Art?

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This lesson plan is designed to be used with the film, The Last Conquistador, the story of a controversial public arts project that some view as a monument to culture and others as a glorification of genocide. Classrooms can use this lesson to role-play how city leaders might make a decision about spending tax dollars on art that is divisive. Students can also consider public art in their community and develop proposals for new art projects that would provide the perspectives of underrepresented communities.

Up the Yangtze

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Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle.

Tintin and I: Cultural Identity

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This clip, associated with the Tintin and I lesson plan, presents some of the racial and geographic stereotypes that Hergé included in a Tintin story set in colonial Africa, "Tintin in the Congo," as well as some later illustrations of Chinese culture in the story, "The Blue Lotus." Students should compare specifics of Hergé's illustrations of colonial Africa and China and discuss why the depiction of Chinese culture was more genuine.

The Beaches of Agnes: Plan a Video Self Portrait

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Agnes Varda recalls her youth as she sails down the Seine in a small boat.

Ai Weiwei: Release from Prison

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An overview of the Chinese government's charges against Ai Weiwei.

Following Sean: San Francisco in the 1960s

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This lesson plan is designed to be used in conjunction with the film Following Sean, a reflective look at how life in San Francisco in the turbulent 1960s has influenced two families: the filmmaker's and that of a four-year-old boy who was the subject of a short film made by the filmmaker in 1969. This lesson looks at clips of that short film in its historical context and asks students to conduct a video interview that reflects modern times.

Point and Shoot: Work Sample

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Matt demonstrates how he sets up his camera to record himself.

Ai Weiwei: Breaking Restrictions

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Journalist Silke Ballweg interviews Ai Weiwei.

Cutie and the Boxer: Documentary Clips

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The Academy Award®-nominated Cutie and the Boxer is a moving account of the chaotic and unconventional 40-year love affair and creative partnership between action painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko, also an artist. Ushio, who punches canvases with paint-laden gloves, is famous in Japan and in Manhattan’s art circles, yet wider recognition has eluded him. Noriko, 21 years his junior, put her artistic ambitions on hold to be a wife and mother — and an assistant to her demanding husband. Now, Noriko’s acclaimed “Cutie” series of drawings, depicting the relationship between the title character and a volatile figure named Bullie, is turning their world upside down. Winner, Directing Award: U.S. Documentary, 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai'i

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Few American icons are as well known for their popular kitsch as the hula dance. From old Hollywood movies to entertainment for tourists, the hip-swaying girls in grass skirts and colorful lei have long masked an ancient cultural tradition. After years of being shadowed by stereotypes, the hula is experiencing a rebirth that celebrates Hawaiian culture across the American mainland.