Prison rebellions

Shawshank guard captain (Byron Hadley) and Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins)

Ideas for a film and music based ESL-EFL class on jails and prison rebellions

One of my favourite music artists to work with in the ELT classroom is Johnny Cash. His lyrics are unfussy and well enunciated but tell vivid stories and address controversial issues. The Man in Black sang often about social justice and campaigned a great deal for a then-unfashionable cause, prison reform. Continue reading

Antonioni’s Blow-Up

Video-based ESL/EFL lesson plan on image rights, voyeurism and street photography featuring Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up

Following on from my post about Rear Window, a film I often like to use in class following Hitchcock’s masterpiece is Antonioni’s 1966 classic¬†Blow-Up. While the main character’s casual mysogyny is jarring today, the film has not lost its intriguing power and ambiguity. I won’t reiterate the debate around what actually happens in the film here, suffice to say there are good grounds to doubt the veracity of what we see, particularly in relation to film’s central murder mystery. The film also includes one of my all-time favourite scenes, in which the hero photographer works – with increasing intensity – in his studio as he develops the photos that convince him he has unwittingly witnessed a crime, an extract of which features in my lesson plan below. Continue reading