Hollywood & History What are the dangers of using Hollywood films to study history?. CRAP!!!!. 1) How do these clips connect to what you’ve learned about Hannibal from class & readings?. 2) How do the movie clips about Hannibal reflect the present (when they were made)?.
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What are the dangers of using Hollywood films to study history?
1) How do these clips connect to what you’ve learned about Hannibal from class & readings?
2) How do the movie clips about Hannibal reflect the present (when they were made)?
3) Why can’t the Italian film, Scipio Africanus (1937) be understood without a grasp of historical context?
Scipio Africanus still (1937)
Hannibal cards & poster (1960)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
1) In what ways does the film reflect both the past and the present?
2) In what ways does it shape or distort our view of the Crusades?
Scene 8: Godfrey to Balian
A better world than has ever been seen. A kingdom of conscience. A kingdom of heaven. There is peace between Christian and Muslim. We live together. Or, between Saladin and the king, we try. Did you think that lay at the end of Crusade? It does.
Scene 35: Balian’s Speech
Which is more holy? The wall? The mosque? The sepulcher? Who has claim? No one has claim. All have claim! We defend this city not to protect these stones, but the people living within these walls.
Modern Times (1936)
1) What is the film’s message regarding industrialization? Be specific.
2) In what ways does Chaplin convey this message? Explain.
3) How do Chaplin’s views contrast with the excerpts from Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management (1911)?
CONTEXT: Background information or the big picture that gives meaning to a particular historical topic, event, or idea.
INTERPRETATION: Giving meaning to a source by describing, explaining, & placing it in its proper historical context.
MAIN POINT: Historical interpretation is IMPOSSIBLE without an understanding of context.
Hyena eating a human corpse
Both are books about animals, but are they the same?
Field Guide to North American Wildlife (1981)
Aberdeen Bestiary (ca. 1200)
“Inherit the Wind dramatically illustrates why so many
Americans continue to believe in the mythical war between science and religion. But in doing so, It sacrifices the far more complex historical reality.”
Ronald Numbers, “Inherit the Wind” (Isis, 1993)
The Scopes “Monkey” Trial (July 1925)
The Warfare Model . . .?
“Inherit the Wind does not pretend to be journalism. It
might have been yesterday. It could be tomorrow . . .”
Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee
How well does the film Inherit the Wind reflect the historical reality of the Scopes Trial?
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Interpretation & Context
1) Interpret each scene from the movie
2) What is the overall story or message?
3) Why does historical context help us understand these clips on a deeper level?
What useful purposes do Hollywood movies serve for the study of history?
Television and movies are a major source of information now. It’s not books. It’s not what they learn in the classroom. And I think what happens is our perception of ourselves and our understanding of the past, are being distorted for the purpose of reaching a larger audience.
Steve Gillon, University of Oklahoma & The History Channel
Well, I hope that the public realizes that you can’t have blockbuster documentaries; that you’re never going to find a film that is absolutely true, and that if you’re going to make it appealing to the general audience, you’ve got to do some compromising . . .
I hope that people use movies as a vehicle to then go and learn more--if they see a movie, they’re fascinated by the subject, they’ll use that as an opportunity to maybe, you know, read a book or maybe look at an actual documentary, rather than just trust what they see on the big screen.
Don Lynch, Lehrer News Hour (1998)