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Aim & Itinerary

Each year, Mr. Friedman and Mr. Berkowitz provide students with a process-based artistic endeavor that culminates in the exhibition and production of the students work throughout the year. In the past, Cinema Verite has adapted James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” into a short film; adapted Roald Dahl’s satirical take on famous nursery rhymes; and composed comic public service announcements on farcical concerns like losing imaginary friends, slow walking, and the fear of big words. Cinema Verite combines mixed medium of film, television and stage to provide a final, original production that is written, directed, designed, produced and performed by the students.

 

This year, our students have written, produced, directed, filmed, and performed an adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” In the short story, as the title states, an older gentleman with ragged wings crashes into a poor fisherman’s backyard. And chaos ensues. From officials to locals to the media, all become fascinated with this poor creature and attempt to determine whether he is just an old man or a sign from above. Our production will be a combination of film and stage acting in order to encapsulate this insightful and critical narrative of belief and human nature.

 

Every year, students work with professionals in the chosen media and experience an example of the very medium they hope to model. This year, students attended a production of the TONY Award-winning play, “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” based off of the novel of the same title by Mark Haddon. The plays use of breaking the fourth wall and incorporation of video imagery has helped to develop the use of point of view in this very production. A similar experience involved the ensemble traveling to New York City to do as many professional stage and screen designers do: to prepare and acquire costume, prop, and set elements. Similarly, students experienced the film production process by producing film exterior shots for the filmed components.

 

Rather than attempt to construct realistic and complete sets, students incorporated the latest trend in stage production and design: filmed backdrops. Mr. Friedman and the film production crew experimented with and created an actual green screen in order to complete much of the fake and replicated backgrounds for the video segments. This allows the use of video footage to address scenery for portions of the final performance. Students filmed native New Yorkers for documentary segments used within the performance. As the plot involves the incorporation of an angel, students have interviewed New Yorkers to inquire about their opinions of the appearance and significance of angels and ethereal beings.

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The student news site of Yonkers Montessori Academy
Aim & Itinerary