Last I blogged, I was trying to decide which horror film to play for my Reel Success class today in honor of Halloween. So…after careful consideration, I decided to go with Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. None of them had seen it, and they got really excited about it. They also all stayed awake, and there was no texting (a few gasps and chuckles, though)–either because they were entertained enough by it or because I hopped them up on candy–or both. But luckily, they were not a class of the living dead this Halloween. So that’s a win.
Of course, I pointed out to them that the film is notable for having introduced the concept of the modern zombie, and I gave them some other relevant background. I also gave them some questions ahead of time to think about as they watched the film. We’ll be discussing these questions next class:
- Consider this movie in historical context. What was going on in the world in this time period that might have influenced the film?
- This movie was made almost 10 years after the last film we watched (12 Angry Men). Do you notice any similarities? Differences?
- It was possible to create color films in 1968, but Romero chose to go with the grainy black & white 35mm instead. One reason was cost. But why else do you think the director may have made this choice?
- Many people think the film serves as a metaphor. What do you think it might represent? Remember that, prior to this film, zombies did not exist as we know them today. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead zombies are the first. What might they symbolize?
- Consider the 8 choices of successful students. Do you see the characters embracing any of these choices? What about the opposite—the choices of struggling students? Who in the film exhibits which characteristics? Be able to give examples.
- What Creator choices do characters make in the movie? Explain. What Victim choices do they make? Explain.
- What life lesson(s) might you take away from this movie?
Hopefully, in addition to being entertaining, the movie will spark some critical thinking and analysis and some good discussion related to student success.