Category Archives: Comparative Studies

The Song of Achilles – Resources

Scratch Game

A game I created with Scratch to test some knowledge of characters in the novel. Click the image below to open the game.

A game to test knowledge of characters in 'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline Miller.

 

Author’s Website

MadelineMiller.com: The ‘find out more’ section includes character glossaries, a reader’s guide, a slideshow and commentary about the author’s trip to Troy, and essays.

 

Interviews and Articles

Q&A with Madeline Miller‘, MadelineMiller.com.

‘Live webchat with Madeline Miller’The Guardian, 30 August 2013.

‘The Song of Achilles’, UCL (Department of Greek and Latin), 24th November 2012.

‘The Saturday interview: Madeline Miller, Orange prize winner’The Guardian, 22 June 2012.

‘An Old Song with a New Melody: An Interview with Madeline Miller’, Ancient History et cetera, 21 June 2012.

‘Paperback Q&A: Madeline Miller on The Song of Achilles’, The Guardian, 1 May 2012.

‘Gregory Maguire interviews Madeline Miller!’, HarperCollins Library, 22 December 2011.

‘Interview with Madeline Miller’, roarings20s, 14 December 2011.

I would like to hear Achilles sing‘, Histo-Couch, 7 December 2011.

 

Videos

Book trailer.

 

Miller speaking about the novel.

 

Part one of Miller's reading and Q&A as part of the Summer Reading Presentation at Wentworth Institute of Technology on 9 October 2014.

 

Part two of Miller's reading and Q&A as part of the Summer Reading Presentation at Wentworth Institute of Technology on 9 October 2014.

 

Miller reading from and discussing the novel at The Center of Fiction on 23 October 2012.

 

Madeline Miller and Gregory Maguire talk about the novel.

 

Staged production produced by the Newton Theatre Company in March 2014. Part One: Before Troy.

 

Staged production produced by the Newton Theatre Company in September 2014. Part Two: Troy.

Resources, Tasks and Comparative Questions: Little Red Riding Hood

Below are six ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ resources, as well as tasks and comparative questions. Although primarily aimed at Junior Cycle students, some of the questions can also be adapted for Senior Cycle students.

 

Resources and Tasks

Perrault and The Brothers Grimm

Click the images below for separate PDFs or click here for the combined PDF.

Charles Perrault: 'Little Red Riding Hood' (PDF)

Perrault: ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (PDF)

Brothers Grimm: 'Little Red Cap' (PDF)

Brothers Grimm: ‘Little Red Cap’ (PDF)

1. Based on ONE of the stories, write the post the wolf OR the girl might make on their personal blogs later that day.

2. Re-write the Brothers Grimm’s story from the grandmother’s perspective.

3. Imagine a sequel of Perrault’s tale has been found. Write the text of the uncovered story.

4. Write a modern re-telling of the story of Little Red.

5. You are a journalist investigating reports of ONE of the ‘Little Red’ stories.

(i) Write an article reporting on your investigation of the story. The article can be for a tabloid, broadsheet or online news outlet.

OR

(ii) Write the script of your news report. The script can be for a video or audio recording.

6. You have been asked to direct a short production of ONE of the texts, starting from when Little Red reaches her grandmother’s house. Describe how you would stage the scene. In your answer you may wish to consider some of the following: choreography, costume, dialogue, facial expressions, lighting, props, setting and set design, special effects, stage directions, sound, etc.

7. Little Red’s mother has asked you to help advertise her new book of recipes.

(i) Write the script of a book trailer.

OR

(ii) Design a poster. In your answer, describe and explain your choice of images, colour, etc.

8. The house of Little Red’s grandmother has been put on the market. You are the real estate agent assigned with the task of selling the property. Write the text of the advert you would write.

9. “Fairy tales such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ present naïve and improbable scenarios, and thus have little or no significance in today’s world.” Write an opinion piece for a popular print or online publication in response to this statement.

 

Into the Woods (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine)

'Hello, Little Girl' from Into the Woods.

'I Know Things Now' from Into the Woods.

1. Describe the effect the rhythm and music create in ‘Hello, Little Girl’.

2. In ‘I Know Things Now’, Little Red Ridinghood states “Even flowers have their dangers” and “Nice is different than good.” What do you think these lines mean?

3. Write a short story inspired by ONE of the following:

(i) “There’s no possible way / To describe what you feel / When talking to your meal!”

(ii) “I should have heeded her advice… / But he seemed so nice.”

(iii) “Down a dark slimy path / Where lie secrets that I never want to know…”

(iv) “Do not put your faith / In a cape and a hood – / They will not protect you / The way that they should…”

(v) “Isn’t it nice to know a lot! / … and a little bit not…”

 

‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ (from Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl)

The text and a recording of Dahl reading the poem can be accessed here.

1. Do you think this would be an enjoyable poem to read aloud? Explain your answer with reference to the poem.

2. What age group do you think this poem is aimed at? Explain your answer with reference to the poem.

3. “… She’s going to taste like caviar.” Compose an alternative ending to the poem, continuing from this line.

4. Compose an acrostic using the words ‘fairy tales’ OR ‘fairy story’.

 

‘An Interview with Red Riding Hood, Now No Longer Little’ (by Agha Shahid Ali)

The text of the poem is available here.

1. Describe the character of the wolf presented in this poem.

2. Write the text of an interview with ONE of the characters from the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

3. You have just learned that Little Red Riding Hood’s father has begun to buy pieces of the forest and he intends to can cut it all down to find the wolves. Write the text of a speech defending OR opposing his actions.

4. Write an acrostic using the word ‘interview’.

 

‘The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood” (by Agha Shahid Ali)

The text of the poem is available here.

1. Describe the character of the wolf presented in this poem.

2. What do you think is the main message of the poem? Explain your answer with reference to the poem.

3. Imagine you are the wolf of this poem. Write an open letter about your negative portrayal in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Your letter may reference more than one adaptation of the story.

4. A collection of writings similar to ‘The Wolf’s Postscript’ has been published, featuring the so-called “villain’s” perspective of fairy tales. Select ONE fairy tale and write a submission by the villain of that tale. The submission can be in the form of your own choosing.

5. Write an acrostic using the word ‘postscript’.

 

 

Comparative Questions

Perrault and The Brothers Grimm

1. To what extent are the two texts similar/different? In your answer you may wish to consider the characters, themes, outcomes, etc.

2. Which of the two texts do you prefer? Explain your answer with reference to BOTH texts.

3. Which text, in your opinion, more effectively presents ‘the moral of the story’? Explain your answer with reference to BOTH texts.

 

Into the Woods, Perrault and The Brothers Grimm

1. Do you think ‘Hello, Little Girl’ is a faithful adaptation of Little Red’s encounter with the wolf in the Brothers Grimm’s text? Give reasons for your answer with reference to BOTH texts.

2. “‘I Know Things Now’ and Perrault’s and Grimm’s ‘Little Red’ present lessons to be learned.” Which text, in your opinion, does this more effectively? Explain your answer with reference to all THREE texts.

 

Into the Woods and ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’

1. Compare the character of Little Red in BOTH texts.

2. Compare the portrayal of the wolf in BOTH ‘Hello, Little Girl’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’.

 

‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ and ‘The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood”

1. Compare the depiction of the wolf in BOTH poems.

2. Which of the two texts do you prefer? Explain your answer with reference to BOTH poems.

 

‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ and ‘An Interview with Red Riding Hood, Now No Longer Little’

1. “We reluctantly feel sympathy for the wolves in both poems.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with reference to BOTH poems.

2. “These poems reveal that Little Red Riding Hood undergoes a significant change after her encounter with the wolf.” Do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with reference to BOTH poems.

 

‘An Interview with Red Riding Hood, Now No Longer Little’ and ‘The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood”

1. “Agha Shahid Ali evokes feelings of sadness from his tragic reconstructions of the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood'”. With reference to BOTH poems, describe the feelings are you left with after reading these poems.

2. “In offering a new perspectives on the tale of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, Agha Shahid Ali asks us to reconsider how we traditionally view the characters and morals presented in fairy tales.” Examine this statement with reference to BOTH poems.

Film Scripts

Collection of film scripts

 

Go Into The Story

 

Rian Johnson

  • BrickThe Brothers Bloom and Looper: Johnson’s scripts are available from his website.

 

David Seidler

Comparative Study: Past and Sample Exam Questions (H)

Cultural Context

2014

“Various social groups, both large and small, (such as family, friends, organisations or community) reflect the cultural context in texts.”

Compare the extent to which one or more social groups reflect the cultural context of at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“The cultural context within a text often dictates the crises or difficulties faced by characters and their responses to these difficulties.”

(a) Discuss to what extent this statement applies to at least one central character in one of the texts that you have studied as part of your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the extent to which the above statement is applicable to at least one central character in each of two other texts you have studied on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2013

“In any cultural context, deeply embedded values and attitudes can be difficult to change.”

Compare the extent to which the above statement is valid in relation to your understanding of the cultural context of at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“The issue of social class is important in shaping our understanding of the cultural context of a text.”

(a) Discuss the importance of social class in shaping your understanding of the cultural context of one text that you have studied as part of your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the importance of social class in shaping your understanding of the cultural context of two other texts that you have studied as part of your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2011

“A reader can feel uncomfortable with the values and attitudes presented in texts.”

Compare the extent to which the values and attitudes that you encountered, in at least two texts on your comparative course, made you feel uncomfortable.

OR

“The roles and status allocated to males or females can be central to understanding the cultural context of a text.”

(a) Show how this statement might apply to one text on your comparative course. In your answer you may refer to the roles and status allocated to either males or females, or both. (30 marks)

(b) Compare how the roles and status allocated to males or females, or both, aided your understanding of the cultural context in two other texts on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2009

“The main characters in texts are often in conflict with the world or culture they inhabit.”

In the light of the above statement, compare how the main characters interact with the cultural contexts of the texts you have studied for your comparative course.

OR

“Understanding the cultural context of a text allows you to see how values and attitudes are shaped.”

(a) Show how this statement applies to one of the texts on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the way in which values and attitudes are shaped in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

2007

Imagine that you are a journalist sent to investigate the cultural context of the worlds of the three texts from your comparative course.

(a) Write an article on the cultural context that you found most interesting. (30 marks)

(b) In a second article compare the cultural contexts of the other two worlds with each other. (40 marks)

OR

“The cultural context can have a significant influence on the behaviour of the central character/characters in a text.”

Compare the way in which the behaviour of the central characters in at least two of your texts is influenced by the cultural context of those texts.

 

2003

Write an essay in which you compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of your understanding of the term, the cultural context.

OR

(a) With reference to one of the texts you have studied in your comparative course, write a note on the way/s in which the cultural context is established by the author. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the ways in which the cultural context is established by the authors of two other texts on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2002

“A narrative text creates its own unique world in which the reader can share.”

Write a response to the above statement in which you compare the texts you have studied as part of your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts

OR

(a) What is your understanding of the term Cultural Context in relation to any one of the texts in your comparative course? Support your view by reference to at least one key moment from your chosen text. (30 marks)

(b) Compare two other texts from your comparative course in the light of your understanding of the term Cultural Context as you have discussed it in part (a) above. Support the comparisons you make by reference to at least one key moment from each of these two texts. (40 marks)

 

 

General Vision and Viewpoint

2014

“Significant events in texts and the impact they have on readers often help to clarify the general vision and viewpoint of those texts.”

With reference to three texts on your comparative course, compare the ways in which at least one significant event in each text, and its impact on you, helped to clarify the general vision and viewpoint of these texts.

OR

“The extent to which a reader can relate an aspect of the text to his or her experience of life, helps to shape an understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of that text.”

(a) Discuss this view in relation to your study of one text on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to the text you referred to in (a) above and at least one other text from your comparative course, compare how two other aspects of the texts (excluding the aspect discussed discussed in (a) above) influenced your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of those texts. (40 marks)

 

2012

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be shaped by the reader’s attitude to a central character.”

Compare the extent to which your attitude to a central character helped shape your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“Various aspects of texts can provoke a range of emotional responses in readers which aid the construction of the general vision and viewpoint.”

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, what aspects of the text shaped your emotional response and helped you to construct the general vision and viewpoint of that text? (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare the aspects of these texts that shaped your emotional response and helped you to construct the general vision and viewpoint of these texts. (40 marks)

 

2010

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be determined by the success or failure of a central character in his/her efforts to achieve fulfilment.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course

OR

(a) How did you come to your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint in any one of the texts you read as part of your comparative course? (30 marks)

(b) Write a comparison between two other texts on your course in the light of your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint in those texts. (40 marks)

 

2007

“A reader’s understanding of the general vision and viewpoint is influenced by key moments in the text.”

(a) Choose a key moment from one of your chosen texts and show how it influenced your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other chosen texts compare the way in which key moments influence your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of those texts. (40 marks)

OR

“ The general vision and viewpoint is shaped by the reader’s feeling of
optimism or pessimism in reading the text.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course.

 

2005

“Each text we read presents us with an outlook on life that may be bright or dark, or a combination of brightness and darkness.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course.

OR

(a) With reference to one of the texts you have studied in your comparative course, write a note on the general vision and viewpoint in the text and on how it is communicated to the reader. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the general vision and viewpoint in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

2003

“The general vision and viewpoint of texts can be quite similar or very different.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

(a) What did you enjoy about the exploration of the general vision and viewpoint in any one of the texts you read as part of your comparative study? Support your answer by reference to the text. (30 marks)

(b) Write a short comparison between two other texts from your course in the light of your answer to part (a) above. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

Sample 1

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be changed or reinforced by the ending of the texts.”

In light of the above statement, compare how the general vision and viewpoint of at least two texts on your comparative course is changed or reinforced by the ending of the texts.

OR

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be highlighted by the actions of a character or characters in the text.”

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, how was the general vision and viewpoint of the text highlighted by the actions of a character or characters? (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare how the general vision and viewpoint of the texts were highlighted by the actions of characters in the texts.

 

 

Literary Genre

2012

“Authors make use of a variety of techniques to shape memorable characters.”

Identify and compare the techniques used to shape one or more memorable characters in at least two texts you have encountered on your comparative course.

OR

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, discuss the author’s use of setting (or settings) as an effective feature of good story telling. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare how the authors use settings as an effective feature of good story telling. (40 marks)

 

2010

“The unexpected is essential to the craft of story-telling.”

Compare how the authors of the comparative texts you have studied used the unexpected in their texts. You may confine your answer to key moments in the texts.

OR

“Aspects of narrative contribute to your response to a text.”

(a) With reference to one of your chosen texts, identify at least two aspects of narrative and discuss how those aspects contributed to your response to that text. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts compare how aspects of narrative contributed to your response to these texts.

In answer to question (b) you may use the aspects of narrative discussed in (a) above or any other aspects of narrative. (40 marks)

 

2008

“A good text will have moments of great emotional power.”

(a) With reference to a key moment in one of your texts show how this emotional power was created. (30 marks)

(b) Take key moments from the other two texts from your comparative course and compare the way in which the emotional power of these scenes was created. (40 marks)

OR

“The creation of memorable characters is part of the art of good story-telling.”

Write an essay comparing the ways in which memorable characters were created and contributed to your enjoyment of the stories in the texts you have studied for your comparative course. It will be sufficient to refer to the creation of one character from each of your chosen texts.

 

2005

Write a talk to be given to Leaving Certificate students in which you explain the term Literary Genre and show them how to compare the telling of stories in at least two texts from the comparative course.

OR

“Powerful images and incidents are features of all good story-telling.”

(a) Show how this statement applies to one of the texts on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the way in which powerful images and incidents are features of the story-telling in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

2001

Write an essay on one or more of the aspects of literary genre (the way texts tell their stories) which you found most interesting in the texts you studied in your comparative course. Your essay should make clear comparisons between the texts you choose to write about.

OR

“No two texts are exactly the same in the manner in which they tell their stories.”

(a) Compare two of the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

(b) Write a short comparative commentary on a third text from your comparative study in the light of your discussion in part (a) above. (30 marks)

 

 

Theme or Issue

2013

“Studying a theme or issue enables a reader to form both personal and universal reflections on that theme or issue.”

Compare both the personal and universal reflections that you formed on a common theme or issue in two or more texts from your comparative course.

OR

2. “In many texts, a theme or issue may not be resolved to the complete satisfaction of the reader.”

(a) Discuss the extent to which a theme or issue is resolved to your satisfaction in one text on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the extent to which the same theme or issue (as discussed in (a) above) is resolved to your satisfaction, in two other texts on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2011

“A reader’s view of a theme or issue can be either changed or reinforced through interaction with texts.”

Compare the extent to which your understanding of a theme or issue was changed or reinforced through your interaction with at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“The study of a theme or issue can offer a reader valuable lessons and insights.”

(a) Identify and discuss at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained through the study of a theme or issue in one text on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained, from studying the same theme or issue (as discussed in (a) above), in two other texts on your comparative course.

The valuable lesson or insight may be the same, or different, to the one discussed in (a) above. (40 marks)

 

2009

“Important themes are often expressed in key moments in texts.”

Compare how the authors of the comparative texts studied by you used key moments to heighten your awareness of an important theme.

OR

(a) Choose a theme from one text you have studied as part of your comparative course and say how it helped maintain your interest in the text. (30 marks)

(b) Compare how the theme you have dealt with in part (a) is treated by the authors of two other texts from your comparative course to maintain the reader’s interest. (40 marks)

 

2008

“The comparative study of a theme or issue allows the reader/viewer to gain a variety of viewpoints on that theme or issue.”

(a) Describe the viewpoint on your chosen theme or issue that emerges from one of your comparative texts. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the viewpoints on the same theme in the other two texts that you have studied. (40 marks)

OR

“There are key moments in a text when a theme comes sharply into focus.”

Compare how key moments from the texts you have studied brought a theme or issue into sharp focus.

 

2006

“In careful reading/viewing of key moments of texts we often find important themes or issues which are developed in the text as a whole.”

(a) Compare how key moments of two texts you have studied in your
comparative course raised an important theme or issue. (40 marks)

(b) In the case of a third text show how a key moment helped in your
understanding of the same theme or issue discussed in part (a). (30 marks)

OR

“The dramatic presentation of a theme or issue can add greatly to the impact of narrative texts.”

Write an essay comparing how the presentation of a theme or issue, common to the texts you have studied for your comparative course, added to the impact of the texts.

 

2004

“Exploring a theme or issue through different texts allows us to make interesting comparisons.”

Write an essay comparing the treatment of a single theme that is common to the texts you have studied for your comparative course.

OR

“Any moment in a text can express a major theme or issue.”

(a) Choose a moment from each of two texts you have studied for your
comparative course and compare the way these moments express the
same theme or issue. (40 marks)

(b) Show how a third text you have studied expresses the same theme or issue through a key moment. (30 marks)

 

2002

“A theme or issue explored in a group of narrative texts can offer us valuable insights into life.”

Compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement.Your discussion must focus on one theme or issue. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts.

OR

(a) Compare the treatment of a theme or issue in two of the texts you have studied as part of your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

(b) Discuss the treatment of the same theme or issue in a third text in the light of your answer to part (a) above. (30 marks)

 

2001

“Narratives can broaden our understanding of a theme or issue.”

Compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement. Support your comparisons by reference to the texts.

OR

2. “A key moment in a narrative text can illustrate a theme or issue very powerfully.”

(a) Choose one of the texts you studied as part of your comparative course and show how an important moment from it illustrates a theme or issue. (30 marks)

(b) Write a short comparative commentary on one key moment from each of the other texts you have studied in the light of your discussion in part (a) above. (40 marks)

 

Sample 1

“The study of a theme or issue can challenge the reader’s attitudes or opinions.”

Compare how your study of a theme or issue in at least two texts on your comparative course challenged your attitudes or opinions.

OR

“A theme or issue can reveal a character’s strengths or weaknesses.”

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, discuss how a theme or issue revealed a character’s strengths or weaknesses. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare how the same theme or issue revealed characters’ strengths or weaknesses. (40 marks)

35 Short Films

Collection of Short Films

 

Alive in Joburg (2006; dir. Neill Blomkamp)

An eerie tale of a close encounter of the third kind in Johannesburg. Blomkamp's film District 9 is loosely based on this short.

 

Badgered (2005; dir. Sharon Colman)

The tale of a grumpy badger who just wants the world to let him sleep.

 

Badly Drawn Roy (2004; dir. Alan Shannon)

Meet Roy, Ireland's only living animated character, born into an ordinary 'live action' family. Roy is intelligent but unfortunately for him he is badly drawn. His failure to gain steady employment finally leads him to Hollywood in search of fame, fortune and corrective surgery.

 

Blinky™ (2011; dir. Ruairi Robinson)

Soon every home will have a robot helper. Don't worry. It's perfectly safe.

 

Caine’s Arcade (2012; dir. Nirvan Mullick)

A 9 year old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad's auto parts store is about to have the best day of his life and inspire the world.

 

Doodlebug (1997; dir. Christopher Nolan)

A man waits patiently in his apartment to squash a bug, by he could be hurting himself more than he realises.

 

Free Chips Forever (2009; dir. Claire Dix)

Becky and her Dad are invincible chip robbers. Nothing can stand in their way. Nothing, that is, except her brother Tom.

 

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (2008; dir. Nicky Phelan)

Granny O'Grimm, a seemingly sweet old lady, loses the plot as she tells her version of Sleeping Beauty to her terrified grandchild.

 

Gumdrop (2012; dir. Kerry Conran and Stephen Lawes)

A robot's life story emerges during a casting session.

 

Head Over Heels (2012; dir. Timothy Reckart)

After many years of marriage, Walter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling. When Walter tries to reignite their old romance, their equilibrium comes crashing down, and the couple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way put their marriage back together.

 

Johnny Express (2014; dir. James (Kyungmin) Woo)

It's 2150. Johnny is a space delivery man who travels to different planets to deliver packages. However, it never goes as planned...

 

La Maison en Petits Cubes (2008; dir. Kunio Katō)

As his town is flooded by water, an old man is forced to add additional levels onto his home with bricks (cubes) in order to stay dry. But when he accidentally drops his favorite smoking pipe into the lower levels of his home, his search for the pipe eventually makes him relive scenes from his eventful life.

 

Mr Foley (2009; dir. Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, also known as D.A.D.D.Y.)

Sound effects Mr Foley, but he doesn't know the score.

 

Mr Hublot (2013; dir. Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares)

Mr Hublot lives in a world where characters made partially of mechanical parts, driving huge vehicles, rub shoulders with each other. A world where the giant scale of machines and the relentless use of salvaged materials reign supreme. A withdrawn, idiosyncratic character with OCD, Mr Hublot is scared of change and the outside world. His solution: he doesn't step foot outside his apartment! The arrival of the dog Robot Pet will turn his life upside down: he has to share his home with this very invasive companion...

 

My Mom’s Motorcycle (2014; dir. Douglas Gautraud)

A short film about how people use objects to connect with times, ideas, and people.

 

My Strange Grandfather (2011; dir. Dina Velikovskaya)

A creative person often seems weird, funny and a little bit crazy. Even his friends and family do not always understand him and often feel ashamed of him. But sometimes he can create a real miracle - merely from garbage.

 

New Boy (2007; dir. Steph Green)

Based on a short story by Roddy Doyle this poignant and comedic short film deftly captures the experience of being the new boy in school through the eyes of Joseph, a nine-year-old African boy.

 

Paperman (2010; dir. Richard Kelly)

A lone man's quest to find his true love in a busy paper metropolis. Will he find the Papergirl he hopes for? This is the story of Paperman.

 

Paperman (2012; dir. John Kahrs)

An urban office worker finds that paper airplanes are instrumental in meeting a girl in ways he never expected.

 

Signs (2010; dir. Vincent Gallagher)

There is magic in what we see every day, sometimes you just have to look hard enough.

 

Some One Not Like You (2009; Virtual Cinema)

A note begins with one man and gets passed from person to person, but what is it all about?

 

The Black Hole (2008; Philip Sansom and Olly Williams)

A sleep-deprived office worker accidentally discovers a black hole - and then greed gets the better of him...

 

The Crush (2010; dir. Michael Creagh)

An 8-year old schoolboy is so besotted with his teacher that he challenges her boyfriend to a duel... to the death.

 

The Eagleman Stag (2010; dir. Mikey Please)

If you repeat the word 'fly' for long enough it sounds like you are saying 'life'. This is of no help to Peter. His answers lie in the brain of the beetle.

 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore (2011; dir. William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg)

After a hurricane levels his city, a young man wanders into a mysterious library where books literally come to life.

 

The Gift (2010; dir. Carl E. Rinsch)

A messenger delivers a mysterious box to a wealthy man.

 

The Herd (2009; dir. Ken Wardrop)

A farmer and his mother discuss the arrival of a strange animal amongst their herd of Limousin cattle.

 

The Lady and the Reaper (2009; dir. Javier Recio Gracia)

A sweet old lady is living alone in her farm, waiting for the arrival of death to meet her beloved husband again. One night, while sleeping, her life fades out and she is invited to cross death's door. But when she is about to do so, the old lady wakes up inside a hospital's ward: and arrogant doctor has taken her back to life and he will fight hard against death to recover the old lady's life at any cost. A comical short showing how fast medicine rushes to save the elderly, even if they may not want to be saved from death.

 

The Longest Daycare (2012; dir. David Silverman)

Maggie Simpson spends the day in the Ayn Rand School for Tots.

 

The Lunch Date (1989; dir. Adam Davidson)

A woman misses her train and buys lunch in a café. When she returns to her table, a man is eating her salad.

 

The Rooster, The Crocodile and The Night Sky (2008; dir. Padraig Fagan)

A tale of passion, loss, surreal comedy and explosive violence. Animated in a cut-out style combining cardboard, tinfoil, paint on glass and super 8 film creating a dreamy, hand-made aesthetic.

 

The White Dress (2006; dir. Vanessa Gildea)

The White Dress is the story of a girl on her communion day, but unlike most other little girls, she is making her communion all on her own.

 

The Wonderful Story of Kelvin Kind (2004; dir. Ian Power)

Kelvin Kind, a wonderful loser with a heart of gold, is blissfully unaware of his own loneliness. But when a beautiful girl moves into the apartment across the hall, Kelvin's solitary world is turned upside down. As he tries in vain to get the girl's attention, Kelvin is soon forced to realise that being in love isn't easy for nice guys...

 

This Way Up (2008; dir. Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, also known as Smith & Foulkes)

A.T. Shank & Son have a bad day at the parlour when a falling boulder flattens their hearse. Emotional and literal pitfalls lie in wait for the odd couple as they make their way cross country with just a coffin for company. This short animated caper puts the fun back into funeral as their journey and relationship unravel on an epic scale.

 

Umbra (2010; dir. Malcolm Sutherland)

An explorer adventures into an unknown world, yet it seems that he has been there before.

 

 

 

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Film Revision: Key Words

Film Poster Analysis

I think reading – or, to look at it another way, comprehending – visual texts is a fundamental aspect to students’ social literacy both in Junior and Senior Cycle.

However, from my experience there is a certain stipulation on visual texts as being more ‘suitable’ for Ordinary Level or ‘less able’ English students at both Junior and Senior Cycle: there is no option in Junior Cert Higher Level to study film while there is in Ordinary Level, and, similarly, there isn’t an option to study a film as a single text at Leaving Cert at either Higher or Ordinary level – only as a comparative text. Needless to say, I was delighted when I saw that films were part of the textual choice in the new English specification!

This is a lesson aimed at engaging students with analysis of visual texts – in this case, a batch of film posters I had printed on poster-quality A3 sheets. One could also further this lesson to make it based more on advertising in print, TV advertising, and so on.

Students were presented with their worksheet and were assigned to pairs.

They were given one of these A3 sheets (there were 2 film posters to a sheet) and discussed the poster and their answers before agreeing on what to write.

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