Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Art Film

Donnie Darko (2001)
This week we were asked to watch an art film and chat about it with our classmates. Out of the list of movies, the one that interested me the most was Donnie Darko. I had heard interesting things about the movie, but had never really gotten the chance to watch it. This past weekend I was finally able to watch it, and my first reactions were confusion,very dark and creative! The movie is about a young teenager who keeps getting these messages from a bunny named Frank, whom is asking him to do criminal and dangerous things to other people in order to save his own life. 
The movie was very creative with the settings of the scenes, the way in which they portrayed Donnie and Frank. The detail that the directors put into Donnie "dreams" or "visions" I found absolutely amazing! Every scene in the movie was different and creative in its own way. For example, the scene where Donnie touches his bathroom mirror and sees Frank, and they give the impression that he can pretty much go through it and go into the bunny's world. 

The word I chose to describe this film is surrealism, which according to Schirrmacher and Fox (2009), "it attempts to create a magical, dreamlike world that is more intense than reality" (p. 204). The movie is definitely very surrealistic. The bunny Frank, who talks and gives orders to Donnie and the fact that nobody else sees him. Also the fact that Donnie also uses a time-travel to go back in time in order to save his life, but having been so confusing I am not really sure if I interpreted it correctly. When chatting about the film with me peers, we all said that it was very dream-like since at the end of the film he wakes up from a dream (the entire film). Also, the fact that there is a bunny who talks and gives orders, in my opinion, is very dream-like. 
Overall, this movie was very intense, most of the characters were really creepy and confusing. Yet, the movie still had me captured in every single scene, had me jump in fear a couple of times, but would definitely watch again!
I believe that having a film chat with children would a great tool to enhance children's communication amongst their peers and teacher. I would not consider a film like Donnie Darko, however, there are many art films that are child appropriate in which can be brought into the classroom and every once in a while and have the children watch and chat about it. Some children may see the movie differently and have different thoughts and feelings towards characters, then other children will and that could be a way in which will enhance their communication skills. 
The bunny, Frank

Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2009). Art and creative development for young children (6th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Delmar. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Looking for Patterns In Urban Settings & Nature

Living in Toronto you are always surrounded by extremely tall buildings, even when you look out your window all you see are buildings, buildings and more buildings. Every once in a while I look out the window and the first thing that I see is this building. However, I had never really noticed its amazing structure and the many patterns it portrays, until I took a picture of it for this assignment! This residential building is located on College Street a couple of blocks from Ryerson U. I took the picture right from my window so I could snap a better picture of it. As you can see this building has repetition. Each floor contains a balcony, which is located on the same place for every floor, same size, shape and location for each floor of the building. The balconies also are placed on the back part  of the building in a u-shaped form. The balconies in the back part of the building are also placed on every floor and are the same size throughout the entire back side of the building. 
The building's structure also demonstrates angles and patterns. At the top of the building you can see the many angles in which the building forms. The back part of the building curves and has the entire back part of the building on a curve. There are also parts of the building that pop out as seen at the top of the building. The repetition of balconies shows a pattern that every side of the building contains. In addition, to the pattern of consistency, the balcony's fences also contain the pattern of simple, plain lines. "Patterns have their own identity. They can be plain and simple..." (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2009, p. 142). 
The overall design of the building demonstrates that it was meant for repetition of the balcony's, the pattern of the fences, the angles and curves since they all blended well together. "Design is the overall mark o success, the standard of achievement..." (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2009, p. 142). 
After having done this assignment, I began to notice that patterns and angles surround us everywhere we go. I look at this building everyday and had never noticed it contained so many elements! If it hadn't been for this assignment, I probably would have never noticed the repetition, or the great overall design of the building. Also, from looking at this assignment, patterns can be a fun and creative way for children to learn. Not necessarily in art, but in other ways as well. Activities can be brought into the classroom in which can help children understand the concept of patterns or having open-ended materials and seeing what patterns they come up with. 

Repetition and Patterns in the balconies
Angles at the top of the building
The curved back side of the building


Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2009). Art and creative development for young children (6th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.