Sixth Form Film Days at The British Film Institute
German Film day: Year 12 German students attended a film day at the BFI on the Southbank. This day is designed to help pupils studying German to familiarise themselves with German films and to analyse them in more detail. After being provided with some historical background, the morning was spent watching extracts of various films, and discussing how the use of camera angles, music, dialogue, and other techniques contribute to the overall effect of the films. Although some of us had seen the films before, such as one of our favourites, ‘Lola Rennt’, it was nice to be able to watch the extracts again with a more analytical approach. In particular, watching an extract of ‘Das Leben der Anderen’, which is the film we are studying as part of our A-level course, was a both useful and enjoyable exercise. After lunch, we finished the day by watching ‘Goodbye Lenin’, a film set after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which we all enjoyed. We found the day very useful in developing our knowledge of German films, techniques and vocabulary, and we would Iike to thank Mr Supperstone for arranging it for us.
French Film day: Year 12 French students also attended a BFI film day. Again, we were able to increase our knowledge of French cinema by watching and talking about several films throughout the day. The focus of the event was on the ‘Nouvelle Vague’ (the ‘New Wave’), a seminal French cinematic movement from the late 1950s and 1960s. We learned about how filmmakers from this period rejected traditional filming styles (le cinéma de papa) and aimed to portray events more realistically in new ways, such as by using portable camera equipment and techniques such as jump cuts, filming in the streets, improvisation and unknown actors. We then saw extracts from different films, where we could see these ideas and techniques in action. We were able to talk and write about what we observed, aided by helpful vocabulary provided in a booklet for us. Of particular use was watching and discussing an extract from ‘Au Revoir les Enfants’, which we are studying in class. In the afternoon we enjoyed watching one of the most famous ‘Nouvelle Vague’ films, François Truffaut's ‘Les 400 Coups’, where we were able to observe the different techniques used by the director. The day was very helpful in teaching us how to analyse directors’ techniques and giving us the vocabulary and information needed to do so, and we would like to extend our thanks to Mr Haywood for taking us. Josie Archer, Year 12
The University of Sheffield French Translation Competition Winners' Workshop
Following entering a French translation competition run by the University of Sheffield, and aimed at Sixth Form linguists, I was invited to attend a Winners’ Workshop at the university on 13 December. After being introduced to the members of staff and other sixth-form pupils, we spent the morning working on some translation exercises together. We translated extracts of Aimé Césaire’s ‘Une Saison au Congo’, a play written in 1966. Although we did not know all the vocabulary, we were able to work together to obtain an English translation, which was an enjoyable and satisfying activity. After this, we were given the opportunity to talk to alumni, who had all studied languages and specialised in translation, which was particularly interesting; we found out about the different jobs languages and translation can lead to. After lunch, we were shown around the university’s campus and given a feel of university life. As someone hoping to study languages, I found the day fun and useful, and it was enjoyable to work with other students with similar interests from all over the country. Thanks to Mr Haywood for letting us know about the competition.
Josie Archer, Year 12