Saturday Links

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughtful suggestions on the graduate course I’ll be teaching in the spring, “Using Technology in the Language Arts Classroom.”  I’m still working through ideas but will incorporate many of your suggestions.  I’m also becoming even more excited about the “Fayetteville Project” idea.  More on that in the next few days, hopefully.  For now, though, a few links:

  • First, from Smashing Magazine, 30 Unforgettable Movie Title Sequences.  As you might imagine, Saul Bass makes a number of appearances.  One notable exception off the top of my head: the opening to Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tennenbaums, a great mix of Alec Baldwin’s storybook narration, the montage of character introductions, and the Mutato Muzika Orchestra’s “Hey Jude.” But like them, I’m a big fan of those stylized ’60s animated sequences (Charade, Psycho, North by Northwest). 
  • Speaking of opening sequences, Sujewa posted the opening nine minutes of his documentary, Indie Film Bloggers Road Trip, on YouTube.  I’m featured in the movie, and here’s my take on the documentary and my experience of watching myself.  Just FYI, I don’t appear in this section of the movie.
  • Patrick Ruffini of techPres has an interesting post on the role of Twitter in mediating the internet, arguing that the microblogging service has become “an outpost that favors the scrappy, authentic outsiders.”  I’m not quite sure I buy the metaphor.  After all, there are relative power hierarchies on Twitter, just like anywhere else, but I also think the focus on popularity may obscure some of the other, more important, aspects of just how Twitter functions within multiple, overlapping internet groupings.
  • J.D. Lasica has a pointer to Mark Glaser’s MediaShift post on alternative business models for newspapers.  The financial crisis of the newspaper industry is well-documented, but at the same time, it’s impossible to dismiss the importance of a vibrant, critical newspaper industry with energetic local reporting.  Glaser covers a number of challenges, classified advertising revenue lost to free services such as Craigslist, and potential alternatives, such as crowdfunding and hyper-localized ads.  As Lasica notes, there are no silver bullets here, but Glaser offers a thoughtful overview of some of the more prominent models.  On a related note, Tama Leaver points out a New York Times article on The Media is Dying, a Twitter feed about the decline of the media industry founded by an anonymous public relations worker.
  • Tama also led me to this list of the ten most pirated movies of 2008. No surprise that the most pirated film involved a certain caped crusader, but that’s also not necessarily evidence that piracy isn’t a problem.  what is surprising: Iron Man, despite being a major youth-oriented blockbuster, didn’t make the top ten.  The Bank Job, a film I barely remember, did.  
  • Finally, Georgia State University media scholar, Alissa Perren, has joined the media studies blogosphere with Media Industries (and Other Stuff).  The blog also mentions a book she co-edited with Jennifer Holt, Media Industries, coming out from Wiley-Blackwell Press.  the collection features articles by Henry Jenkins, Joshua Green, Toby Miller, Michelle Hilmes, and Thomas Schatz, among others.   


  1. filmdr Said,

    December 20, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    It makes sense to me that The Bank Job would be one of the most pirated films of the year. Not only is it one of Statham’s better vehicles, it also concerns a stylish theft.

  2. Chuck Said,

    December 20, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

    Good point. I was gonna mention that it was a Jason Statham film. And that it’s a well-made heist movie makes it all the more appropriate.

  3. Maria Brislin Said,

    December 22, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    This is a belated response to your post about your course on “Using Technology in the Language Arts Classroom.” In talking about this subject with secondary teachers, you should not underestimate the paranoia that exists within school districts regarding technology usage. In the past year I have received numerous professional publications in which teachers are advised that they should not have any type of online presence (other than a school mandated website.) This site is just one example of what teachers encounter on a regular basis:

    I was given permission to use a wiki with my middle and high school students- but only if I read every edit and post BEFORE it was sent to the wiki. Access to any blogs, social networking sites, and most websites are restricted by our school computer network. Due to this, I rely heavily on my Smart Board and Ipod to bring technology into my classroom. Not to be too much of a cynic, but you may want to initiate some discussions with your class about what boundaries they are likely to encounter when trying to incorporate interactive media and how to overcome those obstacles.

  4. Maria Brislin Said,

    December 22, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

    I think I gave you a bad link above. You can try this and click on the blue link to the “To Blog or Not to Blog” article…

  5. Maria Brislin Said,

    December 22, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

    I think I gave you a bad link above. You can try this and click on the blue link to the “To Blog or Not to Blog” article…

  6. Chuck Said,

    December 22, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

    Hi, Maria. Thanks for the tip. I’m not sure that i would have thought specifically about those issues, but you’re right to point out that these issues are worth discussing in some detail. I don’t think that’s cynical at all, and I’m sure that my North Carolina-based teachers will encounter similar, if not identical, obstacles.

  7. The Chutry Experiment » More Syllabus Scramble Said,

    January 7, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    […] Curriculum,” and I’d like to jot down a few ideas and request even more suggestions. In a comment on a separate post, Maria reminded me that I should be aware of the “paranoia” that […]

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