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CiNECiTY – A Fistful of Dollars

This week we screen A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, the classic spaghetti western by Sergio Leone.

A-Fistful-of-Dollars-Poster-antiheroes-21516449-1005-1564Director: Sergio Leone

Cast: Clint Eastwood

Marianne Koch

Gian Maria Volonte

Wolfgang Lukschy

Writers: Victor Andre Catena

Jaime Comas

Sergio Leone

Genre: Spaghetti Western / Action

Duration: 90 min

Colour: Colour

Released: 1964

Countries / Languages: Italy, Spain, West Germany / English, Spanish, Italian

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • This film was identified as an unlicensed remake of the Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo which was released 3 years earlier. Leone says Yojimbo was an inspiration, along with other classic Hollywood westerns and Servant of Two Masters, an Italian play by Carlo Goldoni in 1746.
  • Like most Spaghetti Westerns, this film was a lot more violent than American westerns due to Europe’s lack of censorship codes such as were around in Hollywood.
  • Though made on a low budget, Leone ushered in a then-groundbreaking filmmaking style, emphasising long, tense close-ups, widescreen camera compositions, and hauntingly unusual music by his old schoolmate, Ennio Morricone. Leone’s films have been likened to action based operas, and his style was much imitated.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • American audiences were shocked by this film on its release in 1967. Why do you think Eastwood’s character caused such a ruckus in the 1960s? Is the Man With No Name truly “amoral,” as many commentators have called him? What are his motives?
  • Can you see the influence of this film’s style on today’s action movies? Think of modern directors like Quentin Tarantino, John Woo and Martin Scorsese…

The new Early Harvest magazine from 100 Story Building

Early Harvest is a yearly literary journal produced by an editorial board of upper-primary students from Melbourne’s west. It’s created during an after school program facilitated by 100 Story Building  which is designed to give young writers and illustrators a platform to share their voice, and to give them confidence in their own creative output. This year they need help collecting the funds to publish the new magazine and have started a crowd-funding campaign on Pozible.

Three of FCC’s talented year 7 students, Ilan, Halima and Greta, were editors of the magazine last year and were asked to help Lachlann and the team create the video below to promote the campaign and newest edition of Early Harvest. So why not pre-order a copy via the Pozible site and help support the young writers in this fantastic program?!

Support Early Harvest issue 4! from 100 Story Building on Vimeo.

CiNECiTY – TEN CANOES

This Wednesday 5th August, we’ll be transported to an Australia prior to white settlement and even further still into the Dreamtime when we screen the film Ten Canoes…

ten-canoes-movie-poster-2006-1020409339Directors: Rolf de Heer

Peter Djigirr

Cast: Jamie Gulpilil

Crusoe Kurddal

Richard Birrinbirrin

Peter Minygululu

Narrator: David Gulpilil

Writer: Rolf de Heer

Genre: Drama / Adventure / Comedy

Rating: M

Duration: 92 min

Colour: Black & White / Colour

Released: 2006

Country/Language: Australia / various Yolŋu Matha languages, English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • A lot of the shots in this film were inspired by or are recreations of photographs taken in the 1930s by Donald Thomson, an anthropology professor who spent nearly two years with the Arafura Swamp people. He took more than 4,000 photographs during this time, carefully recording every aspect of daily life. One of these photographs—a picture of ten men in bark canoes—became the key image around which the film’s story was developed.
  • This was the first ever major Australian feature film completely filmed in an Indigenous Aboriginal language. Only the voice over of the storyteller is in English.
  • The canoes used in the shooting of the film were made using traditional techniques under instruction from tribal elders.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • This film uses layered narrative – there’s a story within the story and multiple objective and subjective viewpoints. What techniques do the filmmakers use to successfully achieve this?
  • The stories in the film are from a long ago time and from very different cultures to our own. What cultural elements do we share with the people in the film? What is different?

BOOK REVIEW COMPETITION RESULTS

Last term we ran a BOOK REVIEW COMPETITION and we received many fantastic entries from across all year levels. As promised we have selected the best six reviews (and one Encouragement Award) and the students who wrote them were all awarded with a certificate and their choice of a brand new book from a selection in the library! All of the suitable reviews (including the winners) will live on forever in our library’s catalogue in the entry for that book.

And the winners are:

Millie Beswick-Wright – Year 7 for her review of The Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Abbie Liptrot – Year 8 for her review of All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Lily Veal – Year 8 for her review of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Makita Stendt – Year 9 for her review of Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson

Maddison Lewis – Year 10 for her review of Revived by Cat Patrick

Ethan Waters – Year 12 for his review of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Encouragement Award goes to Nicholas Duong – Year 7 for his review of Run by Tim Sinclair

A big THANK-YOU to all students who entered, they were all great entries! Remember, the library is always happy to accept book reviews, just follow the SUBMIT BOOK REVIEWS link on the left of this page.

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. If you ‘like/follow’ us you can keep up with all the library news as it happens!

CiNECiTY – DOG DAY AFTERNOON

dog_day_afternoon (1)This afternoon we screen the 1975 Oscar winning Dog Day Afternoon.

Directors: Sidney Lumet

Cast: Al Pacino

John Cazale

James Broderick

Chris Sarandon

Written By: Frank Pierson

Genre: Crime / Drama / Comedy

Rating: M

Duration: 120 min

Colour: Colour

Released: 1975

Country/Language: USA / English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • The film received positive reviews and was nominated for multiple Golden Globes and Academy Awards. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
  • It was based on real life events. In August 1972 John Wojtowicz and Sal Naturale attempted to rob a Brooklyn bank and held the staff hostage for 14 hours. Though based on real events and people, John Wojtowicz claims that only about 30% of the events really happened the way the film portrays. He wrote this letter to the New York Times to tell his side of the story. His article was not published in the newspaper.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • Do you think the filmmakers succeed in making you believe this really happened? Do you feel as though it’s happening as you watch? What techniques do they use to achieve this?
  • Why do you think the public were supportive of Sonny and Sal and not the police in the movie? Why were they cheering for bank robbers?
  • Do you think Sonny’s motivation for wanting money justified him robbing the bank and holding people hostage? Was it worth it in the end?

CiNECiTY – MODERN TIMES

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

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • 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”.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • 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:
http://qz.com/432678/the-dreams-of-googles-ai-are-equal-parts-amazing-and-disturbing/

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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