Archive for June, 2015


1308402322This week in CiNECiTY we watch Charlie Chaplin’s last ever silent film and one of his most famous pieces of work, Modern Times.

Director: Charlie Chaplin

Cast: Charlie Chaplin

Paulette Goddard

Henry Bergman

Chester Conklin

Written By: Charlie Chaplin

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Duration: 86 min

Colour: Black & White

Released: 1936

Country/Language: USA / English


  • This film was made after the introduction of synchronised sound to feature length films (1927’s The Jazz Singer was the first full-length sound film). Chaplin was originally going to use dialogue, he even wrote a script for the words, but after some experimenting he reverted to the silent format and just used the synched sound for effects. It was his last silent film, he eventually joined the status quo and all the films he made after this were “talkies”.


  • Why do you think the factory worker wanted to go back to jail? Why didn’t the lady want to go to jail? Did Chaplin want you to think that prison was like the factory, or perhaps even better? How can you tell?
  • Modern Times was made and set during the Great Depression. Do you think Chaplin was concerned about the modern, industrial world having a dehumanising effect on people? Why? Do you think these concerns are still relevant today or have we succeeded in using technology positively?


The “dreams” of Google’s AI are equal parts amazing and disturbing

“Google’s image recognition software, which can detect, analyze, and even auto-caption images, uses artificial neural networks to simulate the human brain. In a process they’re calling “inceptionism,” Google engineers sought out to see what these artificial networks “dream” of—what, if anything, do they see in a nondescript image of clouds, for instance? What does a fake brain that’s trained to detect images of dogs see when it’s shown a picture of a knight?” For more about this phenomenon, here’s an interesting article by Adam Epstein for Quartz:


Refugee Week 2015 – Sunday 14 June to Saturday 20 June

RW_logo_colourRefugee Week began last Sunday and this year The Refugee Council of Australia has chosen this line from our national anthem as the theme:

“With courage let us all combine” 

This is a celebration of the incredible courage of refugees and also of those who stand up against injustice and oppression. It also “serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.”

Take a look at this information about refugees which includes their rights, one of the most important of which is:

“refugees have a lawful right to enter a country for the purposes of seeking asylum, regardless of how they arrive or whether they hold valid travel or identity documents.”

Refugee Week Poster 2015_Layout 1



Sara Farizan, Will Kostakis and Amie Kaufman; three of the amazing and diverse writers who spoke at the 2015 Reading Matters Conference

Sara Farizan, Will Kostakis and Amie Kaufman; three of the amazing and diverse writers who spoke at the 2015 Reading Matters Conference

Some of our library staff recently attended a two day conference called Reading Matters, run by the State Library’s Centre for Youth Literature. There, we heard some amazing discussions involving a host of Australian and international authors and illustrators of young adult (or YA) literature.

One of the overarching themes of the conference was the importance of the existence of a wide variety of texts with diverse characters, each telling stories from as many different perspectives as possible. The authors who spoke of this need were themselves from very diverse walks of life, who felt the need to write the kinds of stories that they were never exposed to when they were young because YA books were predominantly written with very western, straight and conservative characters at the fore.

Readers need to identify with the characters in a book and believe that they are real; therefore books need to reflect the diversity of people in the real world. Thankfully, these days, the YA market is full of amazing and diverse stories featuring characters with many different genders, races, religions, sexualities, abilities, dreams, needs, flaws, illnesses… the list goes on and on!  And this is exactly the point! Diversity is a fact of life and the stories we share should reflect that diversity or we are doing our young adults a disservice.

People learn through experience and reading is the sharing of experience. Books have the power to shape, change and even save lives, as the authors we heard speak will attest. A teenager who may not know how to deal with certain issues can safely share the experiences of the characters in a novel and thus become enlightened about how best to conduct themselves. They will learn about the consequences of certain actions. They will see other people’s points of view. It may help them comfort or support their friends or families. It may indeed change or save their life.

FCC Library endeavours to reflect the wonderful diversity of our own school community through the selection of our collection. We have novels, comics, picture books, biographies, non-fiction and short story collections which we feel have as much diversity of content and characters as is available in YA books today. Our staff love to help students select books so come and speak to us if you need anything specific or if you just want to chat about books.

The hashtags #YAmatters and #weneeddiversebooks have been trending on social media recently. Check them out for more perspectives on this topic.


Issues in Society

R142200-1_v385CoverOur library has recently subscribed to the Issues in Society series published by Spinney Press. They are a valuable resource for students who are researching current issues, as they curate content from a variety of sources and put them in one clear volume. They can be accessed in both print and digital formats from our library. Here is what Spinney Press says of the series:

Issues in Society is an invaluable series of books which contain previously published information sourced from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, surveys, websites and lobby group literature.

The series offers up-to-date, diverse information about the social issues shaping our changing world. Each book explores a range of facts and opinions, providing the reader with a concise overview of the topic.”

Some of the topics covered include online safety, wealth inequality, animal welfare, youth unemployment, sexual health, violence and obesity, but there are many others.

The print books are available for short term loan R142200-Coverv382incomewealthandinequalityfrom the library’s circulation desk. However you can also read and download digital copies from our library website as long as you are logged in to your school Google account (YOUR

Follow this link to see the digital copies:—spinney-press.html New titles are added to the collection as they are published.

Please speak to our dedicated library staff if you have any questions.


This week CiNCiTY screens this inspiring documentary on cinematography. Wednesday 3:30pm in the cinema… 

Directors: Arnold Glassman

Todd McCarthyvisions of light

Stuart Samuels

Cast: Features interviews with renowned Hollywood and international cinematographers.

Written By: Todd McCarthy

Genre: Documentary

Rating: PG

Duration: 92 min

Colour: Colour / B&W

Released: 1992

Country/Language: USA / English

CINEMATOGRAPHY literally translates to “writing in movement”. It is the art of capturing light on a strip of  moving film. It mainly relies on using a camera and the techniques of photography (“writing in light”). However filmmakers can also affect the filmstrip directly, for example by hand-colouring, scratching or drawing onto it. The cinematographer (sometimes called Director of Photography) is largely responsible for creating the distinct ‘look’ of the film and can influence the emotions and understandings of the audience.

They do this by controlling the different elements of cinematography which include the following:

PHOTOGRAPHIC ELEMENTS: this comprises of things like film stock, tonality, colour, speed of motion, focus, lighting,  depth of field, perspective (type of lens) and in-camera effects.

FRAMING: this involves the composition of the shot and includes the aspect ratio, the type of shot such as distance (eg: close up, long shot) height and angle (low, high, canted). It also involves the movement of the camera (dolly, crane, pan) or the movement of the frame (zoom in/out).

DURATION: how long each shot goes for can affect the mood of the audience. Consider the difference between many short, fast takes one after the other as opposed to one long, slow shot.  This can also be controlled in the editing stage but must be considered when shooting the film.


  • Consider how the changes in society and technology altered the approach of cinematographers and the way films are shot.
  • How do you think cinematography is specifically able to influence you as an audience member to feel or think a certain way? Is this something you notice while watching a film? Think of examples of when you have noticed this influence.