Thursday, February 26, 2015

7 quick takes: good films & television shows for teen girls

We have two lovely teen daughters in the house (15 and 14, both with July birthdays, gulp). I wrote a blog post on movies for 12 year olds that was either well-received or I was blasted for how liberal I am or others thought I am way too conservative...I thought I would share some media that I am permitting the girls to see now or in the near future. 
1. They haven't seen some good classics like Ben Hur. What do you think of The Agony and the Ecstasy? Also, I think they would enjoy The Scarlet & the Black after traveling in Germany and learning about World War II more concretely last summer. And I cannot forget one of my all-time favorites: Rope.
2. Pride & Prejudice- they are reading their way through Austen, so I thought they would like to watch one of the movie versions. I like all of the ones I have seen.
3. I am really debating about this one: a rare movie version of the Shakespeare play Cymbeline. My girls just completed performing this with their Shakespeare class. The cast looks good, I especially enjoy seeing Ed Harris. Ethan Hawke as Iachimo is getting top billing, but the character is not that big. A month ago it was called 'Anarchy' and was rated PG-13, now it is back to its original name and rated R. We'll probably wait for the video so I can watch it before they do. 
4. Thoroughly Modern Millie- They got the dvd for Christmas from family! It has to be good! Filmed in 1967 with Julie Andrews and Carol Channing and rated G, I'm not sure it would get a 'G' now.
5. For Lent, Jesus of Nazareth- my teens have not seen The Passion of the Christ yet. Every family is different. I am 'liberal' in some ways, 'conservative' in other ways. I do know some conservative Catholic families who permit their pre-teens and younger children to watch Tolkien book films and The Passion because of the themes of good overcoming evil and the fact that there are strong Catholic connections. I try to tell my children that they are living in the golden age of media. Even when mama says they cannot watch something, there will be a future time when they can see it digitally. Not like the old pre-cable days. Do you remember watching Wizard of Oz once a year? In any case, we will stick with this classic for now, even though I am 99.9% certain that Jesus does not have blue eyes...
6. The Drop Box- This will show in our town for three days in early March. It is a documentary about a South Korean pastor who is saving abandon babies with a drop box at his church. I imagine it to be a bit like a library book return. 
7. Poirot and Murder, She Wrote- These are the sort of shows that I have to yell at the girls for clicking on the next episode. David Suchet as Poirot is impeccable; I will not be surprised if a daughter brings home a small-mustached future boyfriend (years and years from now, of course). And lovely Murder, She Wrote. Did you know that there are 264 episodes? But the theme music brings back such good high school memories. Cabot Cove was certainly a dangerous spot to live, but I would still live there, hoping to bump into Mrs. Fletcher at the grocery store.

pretty happy funny real Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream & Cymbeline

Cymbeline's evil queen (14) was pretty, happy, funny and real throughout the play.
Boy (7) recited Snout/Wall's long speech very well!
"Out of doubt, he (Bottom) is transported!"- true emotion!
sweet hearts- one and all!
"Sometime a horse I’ll be, sometime a hound, a hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire" (really Puck's line- but the play is shortened and adapted for the wee folk)
below: Baby Girl (5) also played the role of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons
 Cymbeline has many small parts; Girl #1 (15) played 8 characters in the course of the night!

a Grandpa & "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" moment

Boy & Baby Girl have read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" many times, but Grandpa hadn't. They liked knowing what he didn't, but he also kept them in suspense with his special method of adding to and elaborating on the story. Before it was popular, my dad read aloud to us. I especially remember him reading Peter Pan and the Little House books to us as children. I think my mother and father's own love of reading and their insistence that we read a lot, controlled our television viewing, and visited the beloved library helped us all become book lovers. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

this Shakespeare moment

 Baby girl (5) playing first fairy in Midsummer Night's Dream
 Boy (7) playing Snout/Wall (this is tech rehearsal- he did have energy at actual performance!)
Big Girls (15 & 14) played Cymbeline- they is their 7th year in this program
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