A few weeks ago, we finished round 2 of our film club, but I've been rather negligent in updating the blog. Julia chose Gus Van Sant's Elephant, which follows several characters throughout the day of a school shooting and is partly based on the Columbine high-school massacre. Despite being somewhat repulsed by the theme, I loved the camera work and the use of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise. I was worried Julia would find it hard to go back to school after watching the movie, but this gave us a good opportunity to talk about such events and how truly rare they are. Sadly, a couple of days later, we heard about the school shooting in Winnenden, Germany.
After this highly disturbing selection, I figured it was time for something light-hearted but not without substance. I chose Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. Of course, the 6-hour BBC Pride and Prejudice series is far superior, but given the typical teenager's attention span, I thought it best to give her a gentler introduction to Jane Austen. With a cast that includes Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, you can't go wrong. After the first half-hour, Julia admitted that she didn't quite "get it", though she was enjoying the film. I told her that was OK. A lot of adults don't get Jane Austen either. However, by the half-way point, she seemed engrossed (and was finally "getting it"), and even Kate and Todd (despite dismissing this as another "chick film") stayed to watch the film with us.