Your kids will be so excited about movies, they'll hardly notice they are writing!

Film is the literature of the 20th century! Explore a variety of memorable movies with Brave Writer instructors.

Johannah Bogart (who has been facilitating our book and movie clubs for the past five years) will be your guide on this journey of cinematic discovery. She first fell in love with cinema while studying French film in Paris.

Students will explore the literary and cinematic elements of film. They can expect to learn about context and technical terminology, as well as enjoy discussion that helps them build complex insights.

Sessions #

Our Movie Discussion Club is organized into the following sessions; please see the "Fall" "Spring" and "Summer" tabs for more information on each and to find out what movies we'll be watching!

  • Summer 2018
    • June 4 - June 29: Food, Glorious Food
  • Fall 2018
    • Sept 4 - Sept 28: More Miyazaki!
    • Nov 5 - Nov 30: The Great Outdoors
  • Spring 2019
    • To be announced

Participants in our Movie Discussion Club will develop skills that transfer to the study of literature or any textual or visual analysis. Take advantage of this pleasurable way to expand your child's writing and thinking skills. And remember the popcorn!

Viewing Schedule #

  • We’ll watch one movie per week.
  • We’ll chat about the movie in our online classroom (log in when it’s convenient in your time zone).
  • We will talk about the films as explorations of character and theme and as works of cinematic art.
  • The best thing? We’ll be so excited about the movies, we’ll hardly notice we are writing!

  • Be sure to tell your kids: There are no essays or writing assignments in this club. They will write, naturally, as they post their thoughts and responses in our online classroom. But since none of their writing will be revised, polished, or graded, your kids will have the chance to explore their thinking using written language, without the pressure to "perform."

    Later, when students write essays in other classes or at home, they will find they have greater access to their thoughts and ideas; they'll associate sharing their opinions in writing with ease, delight, flying in a cat bus, and running on water!

    Streaming the Movies #

    Follow our affiliate links to Amazon or look for these movies in your local library system, through Facets Multimedia (http://www.facetsmovies.com/)—a nonprofit film education and resource center, or online through Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes.

    Prescreening Resources #

    In order to evaluate whether or not these movies are appropriate for your family, we recommend watching them first and/or using one of the websites below to research titles. It is possible to "sit out" one of the films and participate in the remaining three, though not for a reduced price.

    For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.

    Fall Movie Clubs #

    More Miyazaki! (Sept 4- Sept 28, 2018)
    Movies

    NOTE: These films may require extra effort to locate. Please check your resources (including your local library) before signing up for this class.

    1. Castle in the Sky (1986) A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

    2. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

    3. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

    4. The Wind Rises (2013) A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

    The Great Outdoors (Nov 5- Nov 30, 2018)
    Movies

    NOTE: All movies are currently available on Netflix USA, though availability can change; please check your resources close to the start date of the class. You can visit this page to see if the films are available on Netflix in your country.

    1. Maidentrip (2013) 14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

    2. Planet Earth II Episode #2, "Mountains" (2006) Emmy Award-winning, five years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition.

    3. Given (2016) Given is the story of a legacy that takes one unique family on an adventure from their home in Kauai around the world, told through the memories of a child.

    4. Fern Gully (1992) The magical inhabitants of a rainforest fight to save their home, which is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus.

    Streaming the Movies #

    Follow our affiliate link to Amazon or look for these movies in your local library system, through Facets Multimedia—a nonprofit film education and resource center, or online through Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes.

    Prescreening Resources #

    In order to evaluate whether or not these movies are appropriate for your family, we recommend watching them first and/or using one of the websites below to research titles. It is possible to "sit out" one of the films and participate in the remaining three, though not for a reduced price.


    Spring Movie Clubs #

    More information on Spring 2019 movie clubs will be available in October.

    Here's what we offered in Spring 2018.

    Miyazaki Continued (Jan 2 - Jan 26, 2018) #

    You asked for it and you got it! We are back for another month of Hayao Miyazaki movies. This time, we are expanding from Miyazaki films to include movies from his production studio, Studio Ghibli. This month's list of movies was voted on and curated by you all, our movie club members! Miyazaki fans and newcomers are both invited to get to know this well-loved Japanese director and his world-renown production studio.

    If that doesn't convince you, we'll let Miyazaki speak for himself: “I would like to make a film," he said, "to tell children 'it's good to be alive.'” This month we'll watch him do just that, many times over.

    Look for these fanciful adventures at the library, a media store, through Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc. These films are not available for streaming, so you'll have to purchase them or find them at a library. Be sure to get them all before class begins!

    You'll start by watching the first film before class starts.

    NOTE: Each of these titles links through our affiliate program to Amazon for purchase only—these titles do not stream.

    These movies were all made in Japanese. The English dubs are full of famous voices and well-loved. For the class, you're welcome to go for the English dubs or try out the original Japanese (with English subtitles, if you need them).

    Movies #

    1. Nausicaa of the Valley Winds (1984, PG) Considered one of the greatest animated films of all time, this movie has it all: sci-fi, fantasy, animation, and a heroine who is both a warrior and a pacificist. You've got to see it to believe it.
    2. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989, G) Kiki is a young witch on her "mandatory year of independent life." We'll join her as she makes friends in a new town, starts her own business, and becomes the witch of her own dreams.
    3. The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013, PG) A tiny princess is cut out of a stalk of glowing bamboo. As she quickly grows, she'll be forced to confront her fate and her hidden past.
    4. Princess Mononoke (1997, PG-13) Ashitaka, a young warrior on a quest to save himself from a curse, becomes entangled in a war waged by humans on the gods of the forest and Princess Mononoke, who was raised by a wolf-god.

    Movie Club: Monsters (Mar 5 - Mar 30, 2018) #

    As long as we have told stories, we have told stories about monsters. Film history is full of them—from THE GOLEM (1915) to NOSFERATU (1922) to KING KONG (1933) to GODZILLA (1954), monsters have had multiple meanings. What is a monster? When do they make us scream and run? When do they make us laugh? And when are they…us? Grab a buddy and a bowl of popcorn. Brave Writer Instructor Johannah Bogart is here to facilitate these monster meetings.

    Before the club begins, line up your copies or streaming sources of the movie through your local library, Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, or Facets Multimedia.

    Watch the first film before class starts.

    Movies #

    1. MONSTERS, INC., (2001, G, directed by Pete Docter, David Silverman, and Lee Unkrich) The monsters in our closets use the energy of human fear to run their world, Monstropolis.
    2. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991, G, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise) This week the well-loved Disney musical!
    3. THE WATER HORSE (2007, PG, directed by Jay Russell) A 12-year-old boy named Angus, living near Loch Ness in Scotland during World War II, finds an egg on the beach that hatches a creature that grows. And grows.
    4. PACIFIC RIM (2013, PG-13, directed by Guillermo del Toro). Humans fight a war with giant sea creatures using robots piloted from the inside by people working in teams who have access to one another’s memories.

    Movie Club for Globetrotters: India (Apr 2 - Apr 27, 2018) #

    Travel without leaving your couch! The Globetrotter series gives us a window into national cinema around the world. This month we will be visiting India, where the diversity of languages makes for a rich variety of regional moviemaking communities. Brave Writer Instructor Dawn Smith will host.

    Watch the first film before class starts.

    PLEASE NOTE: At the time of this posting, PATHER PANCHALI, VEER-ZAARA and THE LUNCHBOX stream on Amazon; LAGAAN does not. You are welcome to follow affiliate links from the titles below for rental and purchase. These versions come with English subtitles. Also note that it's common for Indian films to be three hours or more in length. Plan accordingly—we have two long ones in our movie club!

    Movies #

    1. PATHER PANCHALI (Bengali, THE SONG OF THE LITTLE ROAD, 2h 5min), unrated, 1955, directed by Satyajit Ray. Set in a rural Bengali village, this story introduces us to a boy named Apu and his family. This is the first of three films that came to be known known as the Apu Trilogy—today considered one of the all-time great cinematic achievements. Music composed and performed by Ravi Shankar. The Japanese director Akira Kurosawa once said, “Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or the moon.”
    2. LAGAAN: ONCE UPON A TIME IN INDIA (LAND TAX, Hindi, 3h 44min), PG, 2001, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. In 1893, a team of impoverished Gujarati villagers enters a high-stakes bet that they can beat British colonialists at cricket. Director-writer Asutosh Gowariker and the actor-producer Aamir Khan cited the French comic book Asterix as an influence on underdog story that will have you cheering.
    3. THE LUNCHBOX (originally DABBA, Hindi, 2014, 1h 44min), PG, Ritesh Batra. “Mumbai’s dabbawallahs are a community of 5,000 lunch box deliverymen. Harvard University analyzed their delivery system and concluded that just one in a million lunchboxes is ever delivered to the wrong address. This film is the story of that one lunchbox.” A charming romance, a sociological look at the dabbawallahs, and a mouth-watering tour of Maharashtrian cuisine.
    4. VEER-ZAARA (Hindi, 2004, 3h 12min), unrated, directed by Yash Chopra. This Bollywood epic concerns an Indian rescue pilot played by superstar Shah Rukh Khan (considered one of the most successful film stars in the world) who meets a woman from Pakistan when she travels to Punjab to scatter her Sikh governess’s ashes in her ancestors’ homeland. A dramatic musical that encompasses themes of feminism, religious tolerance, and love that knows no borders.

    Streaming the Movies #

    Follow our affiliate link to Amazon or look for these movies in your local library system, through Facets Multimedia—a nonprofit film education and resource center, or online through Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes.

    Prescreening Resources #

    In order to evaluate whether or not these movies are appropriate for your family, we recommend watching them first and/or using one of the websites below to research titles. It is possible to "sit out" one of the films and participate in the remaining three, though not for a reduced price.

    Summer Movie Club (June 4 - June 29, 2018) #

    Food, Glorious Food #

    Your kids will be so excited about movies, they'll hardly notice they are writing!

    We eat food every day but do we really understand it? In any given moment, a meal is our heritage, our way of connecting to others, and our most basic need. This month, Brave Writer Instructor Johannah Bogart invites us to eat our way around the world. From the great chefs in Paris to bloggers in tiny kitchens, we are getting up close and personal with food: what makes it fancy, what makes it cultural, and most importantly, what makes it delicious.

    Movies

    Look for these fanciful adventures at the library, a media store, through Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc.

    You’ll start by watching the first film before class starts.

    1. Ratatouille (2007, G) A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant.

    2. Chef's Table (2015) We will watch two episodes of this show that highlights chefs around the world.

    3. Julie and Julia (2009, PG-13 for profanity) Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.

    4. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011, PG) A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

    Streaming the Movies #

    Follow our affiliate link to Amazon or look for these movies in your local library system, through Facets Multimedia—a nonprofit film education and resource center, or online through Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes.

    Prescreening Resources #

    In order to evaluate whether or not these movies are appropriate for your family, we recommend watching them first and/or using one of the websites below to research titles. It is possible to "sit out" one of the films and participate in the remaining three, though not for a reduced price.

    Class Structure Description #

    Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.

    Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment. We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing.

    Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.

    Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.

    Brave Writer takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialog is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer values here.

    What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.

    Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.

    Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!