Today, Seattle Pacific University instructor Christine Chaney is sitting down to discuss Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue with her English class. Bravo.

I love it when literature professors expand the territory of their classroom exploration, encouraging students to apply interpretive skills to film. All too often, movies are treated as something we just do “for fun,” on the weekends, with popcorn and soda… as amusement rather than art. (And let’s face it, because we treat cinema that way, we get the cinema we deserve.)

In high school, my English teachers opened up classic literature by exposing us to film adaptations. I remember watching a television mini-series of A Tale of Two Cities. But my senior year, we were invited to watch Babette’s Feast together. (Subtitles and all!) Then, at the end of the year, after we had learned a lot about how a work of art means… we were invited to watch it again, and the experience was revelatory.

Did you watch movies in the classroom? In high school? In college? Which films did your teachers share with you?

Hopefully, your teacher was smarter and more discerning than this one.

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