Going Back to School at the Movies!

Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2012 by fillups

The hot summer days of vacation are drawing to a close for students everywhere as schools begin the noble purpose of  education.  What better way for all of us to celebrate the season than to watch a bunch of movies about the institution, SCHOOL?

 

Back to School!
The class

The class

Director Laurent Cantet directed star and co-writer Francois Begaudeau in this 2008 re-creation of his experiences teaching a group students from a rough Parisian neighborhood for a year.  The film gets as close as any I've seen to realistically getting at the problems many teachers face and the various strategies they use to get students to learn. Begaudeau is a decent actor but the powerful part of this film is that he lived this experience; it lends the film an almost documentary feel.  An amazing look at that place we call school. 

To Sir, with Love

To Sir, with Love

This 1967 movie directed by James Clavell features Sidney Poitier at his most charismatic.  Poitier stars as an engineer who takes on a teaching job while he is waiting for a job in his profession.  He ends up teaching an undisciplined class at a school in London's East End.  The mostly white students seem raw, angry, and racially confrontational.  How Poitier's character copes with this situation makes for an inspiring and moving film.

The School of Rock

School of Rock

In director Richard Linklater's 2003 comedy, rock musician Jack Black poses as a substitute teacher to earn some much needed cash.  He ends up working at a very conservative private school in a long term assignment with a fourth grade class.  His anti-establishment attitude and his passion for music end up having a powerful effect on his students while also getting him into trouble with the school itself.  A funny, joyful tribute to music's ability to inspire with uniformly great performances by a wonderful cast.

Clueless

Clueless

Writer/director Amy Heckerling's 1995 reworking of Jane Austen's Emma also works as a funny look at popular cliques in a super exclusive high school.  Alicia Silverstone stars as a matchmaking alpha teen who doesn't realize the troubles she is creating around her.  This movie is funny, charming, delightful and, despite the nineties trappings, timeless.

Ferris Bueller's Day off 

Ferris Bueller's Day off

Finally, if the onset of school feels too heavy, writer/director John Hughes' 1986 comedy shows viewers how to take a little rest. The movie follows  Matthew Broderick in his iconic role as Ferris Bueller, who is an expert at dodging the school system of accountability, and how he manages to win the day. It is a bright, summer breeze of freedom for any downtrodden student. 

 

Tagged: Amy Heckerling, James Clavell, John Hughes, Laurent Cantent, Movies, Richard Linklater, School, Movies, comedies, dramas, Movies, school

Read!