Monday, April 9, 2007

FINDING FORRESTER (2000)

Director: Gus Van Sant
Mike Rich - Written by
Sean Connery - William Forrester
Rob Brown - Jamal Wallace
F. Murray Abraham - Robert Crawford
Anna Paquin - Claire Spence
Busta Rhymes - Terrell Wallace


STUDENTS: If you're a student would you please post a comment and tell me where you're from and what class you're writing for? And, if you can I'd love to see what you're writing for those English and Story classes, or what kind of form you had to fill out for the assignment that sent you here. I'm collecting these. Send them to stan@moralpremise.com   Thanks.  If you'd like a FREE BOOKMARK with writer's helps printed on both sides, send a SASE to "The Moral Premise, PO Box 29, Novi, MI  48376." Here a link to more information. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page linked to see the bookmark.)

Finding Forrester takes place in the Bronx where William Forrester, a white, recluse novelist, makes an unlikely friendship with, and mentors, a black 16-year old boy who is gifted at both basketball, literature, and writing, Jamal Wallace.

Finding Forrester (FF), however, is really about finding hope by venturing into the unknown. We make assumptions about the unknown that become legendary prejudices, urban myths, which in turn reinforce our unfounded fears. When chance, fate, or Providence breaks down the barriers, and if we open our heart, we are given new life, and can face the ultimate unknown, death, with peace.

Physical Goals: Jamal Wallace wants to be accepted by his urban peers and so excels at street basketball, purposely hiding his intelligence behind a C average. He secretly writes in notebooks, something he's done since his father left home. His standardized test scores, however, indicate a brilliant mind. He's recruited by Mailor, a private and somewhat exclusive Manhattan school that needs help on its basketball team. Jamal's physical goal is to be accepted by those around him for what he's capable of doing. But he's held back by his own prejudice toward his peers and the prejudice of others that a black kid from the Bronx can play basketball but nothing more.

William Forrester, also a kid from the Bronx, however, wrote a famous novel 50 years earlier that is still creating a wait list at the New York Public Library. He only wrote the one novel, however because he was offended at the crack reviews, and because the deaths of his brothers and parents sent him into a long depression. Forrester, says screenwriter Mike Rich, like many other famous novelists, wrote for themselves, and not the public. Forrester wants to "get out" but he's afraid of what the public and the world outside have in store for him.

In FF, Jamal has to fight his way into Forrester's life, onto the Mailor basketball team, into the acceptance of his literature professor, Robert Crawford, and into the broader culture of Manhattan.

Forrester has to fight his way out of his top floor Bronx flat where he's quadruple locked himself in -- at the door -- but leaves his window, accessible by the fire escape, unlocked . Although his former life involved mountain treks in search of rare birds, now his outside adventures are limited to sticking the top half of his body out the window and sitting on the still to clean the pane's exterior. The clean window allows him to watch Jamal and friends play basketball, and occasional videotape the stray bird from the park.

The Moral Premise. FF can be summarized in this moral premise statement:

Ignorance and avoidance of the unknown
leads to fear, isolation, and despair;
but Knowledge and embrace of the unknown
leads to faith, friendship, and hope.
Expanding on this premise, FF is about how to achieve our dreams that are out of our present reach. The movie suggests that to extend our reach we have to enter territory that often appears dangerous.

This moral premise is ubiquitous in many metaphoric and didactic ways.

A. Fear of the Unknown. The opening rap is about how the force of will allows us to make decisions which allow us to achieve our dreams, even in the face of an establishment that wants to hold us back. In this case the reference is the "white" establishment holding back "blacks". The story, however, isn't as much about racial prejudice, as it is the greater prejudice toward people that are unlike us in a multitude of other ways, white or black. This affinity of keeping to our own kind is one of those mental roadblocks that takes on, unnecessarily, racial identity. FF does a good job of revealing that such prejudice is much deeper than race, and that race becomes the scapegoat. One of the reasons racial prejudice will never go away is because there is a deeper and broader distrust of anyone that is not exactly like us in a hundred other ways — race, yes, but also culture, class, language, height, weight, fashion, intelligence, language, business affiliation, school affiliation, and social standing. It is the fear generated by ignorance of these different categories that leads to false assumptions, which in turn breeds fear.

B. The Raven. Ironically, Jamal's public high school literature teacher asks the students if they are familiar with Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. A cursory examination of The Raven suggests that Poe's poem was Mike Rich's inspiration for FF. In the poem, Poe is distracted from his depression and grief over the death of "the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore." In the poem, an ebony raven comes rapping at Poe's window. In the movie it's Jamal who enters Forrester's window (first) and door (second). When Poe, the recluse writer, lets in the insistent Raven, it perches upon a bust of Pallas, the Greek God of wisdom. Similarly Jamal comes into Forrester's recluse life in search of wisdom. This reference is doubled in the movie when Forrester, a bird watcher, videotapes a bird outside his window that has "strayed from the park" as Jamal has strayed from his urban culture into Forrester's. Poe's raven is a symbol of sadness and depression that will not go away, because the hope that love has offered has gone away. Rich's screenplay explores what would happen if the raven, which enters the sad writer's life, were to renew hope, rather than reinforce sadness. The connection to the moral premise, here, is Poe's (and Forrester's) reluctance to mount the courage to leave the land of destitution and enter the land of hope.

C. Entering the Lion's Den. On a simple dare, late at night, Jamal enters Forrester's flat via the fire escape and unlocked window. It's a "rickety" entrance that reveals Jamal's willingness to explore uncharted territory. The first thing Jamal does in the flat is unbolt and open the entrance door. It is a practical move that allows him to quickly escape if found-out (which is he), but it also foreshadows his goal for Forrester, and where the story is leading. Jamal is spooked by Forrester and runs out of the flat, leaving his pack behind. Forrester finds it, reads his "notebooks" and marks up his writing with red highlighter, asking at the end of one of the notebooks, "Where are you leading me?" It's a writing instructor's rhetorical question that also moves the story forward. Indeed Jamal is leading Forrester out the front door, now, figuratively unlocked.

D. Questions Point to Unknown Fear. In an early discussion between them, Forrester says to Jamal:
There's a question in your writing about what you want to do with your life. That's a question your present school cannot answer for you.
This comment suggests that Jamal needs to brave the unknown in order to find a way out of the urban parking lot metaphor that his brother, the parking lot supervisor, as succumbed to.

E. Forrester Fears Discovery. After Jamal discovers who Forrester is, he confronts him and wants to tell Forrester what he thought of his novel, Avalon Landing. Forrester wants nothing to do with Jamal's opinion, and is sacred that Jamal will reveal Forrester's whereabouts. Forrester has been invaded and he's scared. He's been found out. His life is no longer private, and he gets Jamal to promise to keep the secret from others. Jamal promises this if Forrester helps him be a better writer. Here we see Jamal forcing Forrester into a constructive confrontation with the outside world, in exchange for gaining wisdom about his inside world. (43 min)

F. Playing by the Rules. Shortly after Jamal starts at Mailor, he has trouble opening his locker. Along comes the chairman's daughter, Clair Spence, who bangs on the locker to make it spring open. "At least they look good," she offers. It's small, but it's a metaphor for the moral premise, nonetheless. The locker door presents a barrier to the unknown. How to cross its threshold requires unconventional methods, and even a little confrontation. We're afraid sometimes to go places when the methods are not our style. So Jamal tells Forrester while watching Jeopardy,
If you're going to play the game, then you need to know the rules.
You don't enter the new world using techniques from the old world. On the otherhand, Jamal's courage is the opposite of conformity. He refuses to run from things that others would fear.

Following the rules, in an unknown world" is also metaphored to us during Jamal's early visit to Forrester's flat. This is a literary lion's den, as the DVD chapter title suggests. It is not a basketball court. Jamal, a basketball always at the ready, absently mindedly starts to dribble the ball in Forrester's flat. Forrester stops correcting Jamal's essay and looks uneasy at him. Jamal stops dribbling. The rules for playing the literary game are not the same as playing basketball. Jamal puts the ball aside.

Again, we see this play out in two scenes were Jamal first avoids a confrontation with Professor Crawford and later when he confronts Crawford and beats the old man at his game of pity quotations. In the first instance, Jamal avoids Crawford's wrath because he played by the game rules of the new environment. But later he incurs Crawford's wrath when he plays by rules not suited for Crawford's lion's den. The lion threatens to eat Jamal. In all these instances of playing or not playing by the rules, Jamal demonstrates his resolve of not being restrained from his dream. He shows us that bravery is necessary for claiming the hope that we all desire.

G. Avalon Landing. Forrester's (one) wunderbook, Avalon Landing, is referenced by Crawford as the great 20th century novel, which suggests how life never ever works out. It describes Forrester's lament and fear of breaking out of the despair that surrounded him after the war and the deaths of his brother, mother and father. Rather than bravely entering the new world offered to him, Forrester retreats from the unknown and lives a life of isolation and fear.

H. "The Season of Faith's Perfection" is a New Yorker article that Forrester wrote about the Yankee's World Series pennant race in 1960. Forrester's family rarely missed a Yankee's home game played in the Bronx at the stadium Babe Ruth built. But in 1960 the Yankee's lost the championship to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the last half of the ninth inning of the seventh game. The article's title is a metaphor of how there is a season where faith can take hold and produce hope, even in the midst of grave disappointment.

I. The Unknown of the Blank Page. About half way through the movie (at about 53 minutes) Jamal faces the unknown...a blank page stuck in a typewriter. Even though Forrester demonstrates how to cross the barrier into the unknown, Jamal is not sure how to pursue his dream. Forrester tells him to write from his heart, and use his mind later. But Jamal is still stuck. Finally Forrester retrieves his 1960 New Yorker article (above) and tells Jamal to re-type his words until he finds his own. Jamal musters the courage and starts in -- tentatively. Forrester yells at him to "PUNCH THE KEYS". Shortly, Jamal does, and in so doing embraces the moment of grace to write from his heart — the strong sounds of the punched keys resonate throughout the flat. At that, Forrester yells in Jamal's street vernacular, "Yes! Yes! You're the man now, dog."

J. What is the Scarlott Tanager? Jamal and Forrester are watching Jeopardy on TV and the question for the answer is: "What is a scarlet tanager?" Forrester quotes a James Lowell poem about a scarlet tanager "Thy duty, winged flame of sprig, is but to love and fly and sing," and explains to Jamal how the poem is about "the song of the tanager, a song of new seasons, new life." Indeed, the moral premise even on Jeopardy.

K. Street Courage. Later, as Jamal walks home, he demonstrates his comfort, if not courage, in an environment that others would run from. He shuns what would seem like the safer sidewalk and walks down the dark street's center, even as: a police cruiser (lights flashing) passes him closely checking him out, a car burns on the other side, and then it downpours. Jamal is aware of all this, but walks steadily on, offering no defense, or courtesy to any of the elements. This shot could be interpreted as Jamal's comfort in the Bronx neighborhood, but it also underscores his embrace of the moral premise by summing-up the bravery to confront unflinchingly that territory that robs mankind of hope.

L. Under the Outer Worlds. When Jamal and Claire spend an afternoon together at a museum, they have the courage to discuss the budding romance between them and the difficulties implied by their different backgrounds of class, culture and race. He also asks her about how she happened to go to Mailor, which only a few years ago was an all boys school. The conversation occurs under oversized models of the outer planets of the Solar System that hang from the glass ceiling. The scene again reinforces the dream of mankind to venture into the unknown in order to uncover our hope for the future.

M. Getting Out. On Forrester's birthday, Jamal persuades him to get out and go to a baseball game. But Forrester gets lost in the crowds and cowards in a corner of the stadium's belly. They leave, and Jamal, with the pull of his brother, takes Forrester to the pitcher's mound of old Yankee stadium in the Bronx. The evening is the beginning of Forrester's finding himself and leaving the confines of his self-imposed prison. He finally shares with Jamal the ghosts that have kept him holed up during the past years, and in so doing finds hope for the future. Jamal quotes him his own words,
The rest of those who have gone before us, cannot steady the unrest of those to follow.
In other words, to find peace, to find ourselves, we must each summon our own courage to enter the unknown future.

N. The Challenge of Integrity. Jamal is accused of plagiarism on an essay entered in the school's writing contest' he has quoted Forrester but doesn't cite him. It is the essay that begins with Forrester's title and first paragraph of "A Season of Faith's Perfection." Not knowing that the article was previously published, Jamal doesn't know he could cite the article from the public record, but rather fears that to reveal his source would force him to break his promise to Forrester. When Jamal confronts Forrester about the problem of possibly being kicked out of school and they discuss the bitter prejudice that Crawford exhibits toward Jamal, Forrester offers an explanation:
FORRESTER: Do you know what people are most afraid of?

JAMAL: What?

FORRESTER: What they don't understand. And when we don't understand we turn to our assumptions.
In other words, our fear comes from ignorance of the unknown, and our inability to enter the unknown with courage.

O. Writing From Your Heart. Another important scene that reinforces the moral premise is the city championship basketball championship at Madison Square Garden. The game comes down to two foul shots that Jamal is given to shoot, with time already run out. If he makes them both, they win. But Jamal has just been offered an illicit settlement in the supposed plagiarism scandal. As he stands at the free-throw line, he realizes that he will be defined by what happens here, not only to the school and Crawford who looks on, but by himself. He doesn't want to graduate from Crawford and be pushed through the academic system simply because he's a jock. He wants to be acknowledged for all that he is. He faces a dilemma but makes the decision that requires the most courage of his young life. It's been clearly shown that Jamal never misses a free throw, and under pressure can shoot 50 consecutive. But on this night, he will define his life for the future. He misses both shots.

This is a huge barrier that takes an immense amount of courage. He is entering unknown territory, but he is determined not to be restrained from his dream as the opening rap foreshadows like a Greek chorus. He will claim his dream to be a writer, and a man of integrity. Making those two shots, would define him as a jock from the Bronx who cheated his way through school and probably cheated on his essay. Jamal faces Forrester's earlier challenge of "writing for himself" and not to write for others. Forrester's exile was in part because he let the opinion of others define him. Jamal was going to be the defining process, not the crooked board of directors who just wanted the school to win basketball games.

That night, after the game, he writes Forrester a letter at the New York public library. Forrester cleans his windows — it's time to see more clearly, even at night. Forrester seemingly knows that Jamal has chosen to define his life for himself and not for others. Finishing the windows, Forrester pumps up the flat tire on his bicycle and rides freely, happily, and without fear through the Bronx streets.

Jamal's ultimate act of self-honesty and integrity, free both him to define what others will say about him, even as it frees Forrester.

P. Forrester's Return. With his new freedom from fear, Forrester has the courage to go to Mailor and defend Jamal during the writing contest. With a surprise visit that is honored by Crawford, Forrester reads a paper that Jamal has written, although Crawford doesn't know it at the time and praises Forrester for what he assumes are the old writer's words. The essay is about both Forrester and Jamal and their fears. What we hear of it is this:
"Losing family obligates us to find our family. Not always the family that is our blood, but the family that can become our blood. And should we have the wisdom that would open our door to this new family, we will find that the wishes we once had for the father, who once guided us..."

The only thing left to say will be 'I wish I had seen this, or I wish I had done that or I wish...

Q. A Peaceful End. At the end of the movie, Jamal, three years later, learns that Forrester has died of cancer in Scotland. In a letter to Jamal, Forrester makes it clear that had it not been for their friendship, Forrester's dreams of returning to Scotland would not have been fulfilled. Jamal gave Forrester the courage to make the decision to end his exile from society and go home before it was too late.

There are other elements in the movie that reinforce the moral premise for each of the main characters, including Professor's Crawford's embrace of the vice side of the moral premise. But, we'll save that for another time, or your own essay. Or, perhaps, someone else would like to write that for posting here. Anyone?

UPDATE 4.25.2015 - MORE ON THE OPENING RAP

Jimmy Bobbitt
Here is a link to the opening rap lyrics and a collection of very good discussion questions.
OPENING RAP LYRICS AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
My thanks to the Highline Schools literature teacher for compiling this PDF. It's very useful. (Who are you?)

A reader asked for an interpretation of the rap. I hint at it earlier when I write:
The opening rap is about how the force of will allows us to make decisions which allow us to achieve our dreams, even in the face of an establishment that wants to hold us back. (section A)
That is true of both Jamal and Forrester. And,...
Jamal AND Forrester are entering unknown territory. Jamal, particularly, is determined not to be restrained from his dream as the opening rap foreshadows like a Greek chorus. (section O second paragraph)
To see the "clarity" of the rap, which is ladened with poetic slang and metaphors, read it over, a-loud several times....slowly. As you do, look for clauses and juxtapositions that:

A. Pertain to Jamal's dream of breaking out of the destructive prejudices he's grown up with against education as if it was only a white man's sport. The very first line tells you this: "Yo, nothin' can keep me detained."  Also: "feast when I release the beast within," and "the reapers twin."

B. Remind one of the end they will received if they persistent in this prejudice against education and mentors (of any race or class) that can help us fully actualize our calling. The last line of the first stanza depicts that: "you should bear witness to the end of your existence." There are a number of metaphors that point to a tragic end to those that persist against an education than can elevate: e.g. "body outliner," "red juice," and "up the block."

The style of the rap does seem to waft between the two voices that battle within Jamal (and Forrester), one that tells them to escape the hopelessness of their situation, and the other voice that tells them they can't escape... that defeat is inevitable. A better understanding of the slang, which I don't have, would explain this. Ultimately, however, poetry purpose is to give pause to reflection, not explain things to perfection.

DVD
VOD

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

this movie was marvelous..
i really enjoyed watching it in my class, and they should deffinently make another movie based on the same subject

Anonymous said...

FiNdInG FoRReSteR... AMAZING!!! It touched every inch of my senses... I'm a frustrated writer... I wanted to be one, but I'm afraid of what other's may say about my works... William Forrester mirrors my life...

Parcee
Philippine

alexon said...

loved it... very inspiring...gives hope to those who dreamt and still dreaming...

Anonymous said...

I just want to get the full text of "Losing Family"
Can I find any document or book.
about ""Losing Family"" in film.
Thank you

Stan Williams said...

Anonymouses... all of you. Use your name. Respect us. To the most recent Anonymouse... the only text to "Losing Family" is what's in the movie. It's not a true story.

Manfred Jakoby said...

Thank you for the blog and comments. I loved the movie and it inspired me.

I was looking for the text "loosing family" and now that I know there is not more to it, than the text in the movie, I used it as a start for my own story.

Manfred

Sophie said...

What a GREAT movie.
I just watched it for my AP english
class and am doing a report on it.
loved loved LOVEd it :)

Anonymous said...

This movie was amzing, we watched it in class, and our teacher really hit the nail on the head when he thought that we would like this movie! Thanx Mr. V!

Erudite said...

Sometimes a message or truth brought to light even in a movie such as "FF" can have or even cause an effect that one does not realize may lay dorment only to be prodded to the surface. Asking questions; "the right" questions that speak volumes by understanding the need of why these are asked. Write, yes write, then the answers will come. Let petiness fall away and reach out. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. And if you be free, you shall be free indeed. (used by permission of the author)

adam said...

I'm not sure if you meant to use this term or not but you wrote escape goat, which is supposed to be scapegoat. There's no such thing as an escape goat.

Stan Williams said...

Adam. Right you are. I changed it. Thanks. (Stan)

Jay Spark said...

Although I support the premise of this film to usher us into new ground conceptually and socially, I thought this film was a bit simpleminded. The lead character was a virtual superhero with no flaws, good looking, a star athlete and a literary genius, more well read than a PHd, who easily betters his peers as well as his stuffy professor. When his integrity is called into question, he has the strings to pull in no less an authority than a Nobel Prize winning author to argue his case. The power of the pen is mighty, but did the screenwriter need to invoke it to such an exaggerated extent to extol the virtues of African Americans, or to urge courage in the face of the unknown? I'm afraid that doing so at the expense of reality hurts his intention more than helps it. I would have been more convinced had the boy's talent and potential been tempered by greater vulnerability and humanity, and had the remaining characters, especially the boy's family, been given more depth as people. Then the author would have been truly delving into the "unknown". Lastly, the omission of the full content of the young man's piece read by Forrester at the end is an embarrassing insult to the viewer's intelligence. To have that section simply filled with score music and inspired faces is a horrible way to execute the climax to this film, and shows both laziness and a lack of commitment to the literary greatness the lead character is purported to possess.

Anonymous said...

Jamal's piece at the end was done to perfection. It allowed the viewers to draw their own conclusions, which they could have fun discussing in the future. Unless of course, a viewer had no intelligence, like the person who posted the previous comment.

Jerry Chao said...

The movie itself is marvelous. But I can't seem to find the poem "Losing Family", but the comments seem to say that there isn't a poem on it. I personally love poetry, but its depressing to see such an amazing poem being wasted and not being finished to its depth. Wish you allthe very best, and hope that Stan Williams replies soon~~

Stan Williams said...

Jerry, Read the comments above. Stan

Grant Gardner said...

Stan, thank you for this blog. I am writing a contrast/comparison essay on Forrester and Jamal for english class. I really enjoyed the movie, but I am struggling with this essay. Reading your blog has been helpful. You did a great job and inspired me to read the Raven, which is really cool.

Anonymous said...

I am writing an essay for the Ethical Educator's graduate course I am enrolled in. The movie and your write up are both very good. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I'm taking a class in Ethics at Concordia University in Portland. This movie gave me hope, inspiration, and the will to keep writing. Curtis

Anonymous said...

South florida / english 2 soph/ 16
I enjoyed the movie I liked the message and this website did help alot with a worksheet I had to complete haha

Joan Huber said...

Joan Martins Concordia University Portland, Oregon - Online course
Title of course - Ethical Educator Ee.D.in Educational Leadership

Danita Hottinger said...

I really found your website article intriguing and a helpful portrait of the movie. The movie was most definitely inspiring and heart touching on many levels. Thank you for contributing more clarity and meaning to this work of art.

Kevin said...

Interesting so far. However, wasn't Forester portrayed cleaning the outside of his window only right before he left the house to bike around the city at the end?

Exponent Ideas said...

Hi Mr. Williams,

I am reading this blog for Concordia University's doctoral program in education, class on ethics. Here's the "blurb": " Next week finds us looking at the way in which our core self (or "soul") finds its place in the world and in our vocations. We will be doing a film study of Finding Forrester, which is available through Netflix, Amazon, and public libraries. Schedule time to view this film (136 min.) and review the two film study webpages associated with the project.
The Moral Premise Blog: Story Structure Craft
http://moralpremise.blogspot.com/2007/04/finding-forrester-2000.html"

I'm thrilled to learn you have a blog for your magnificent book! Wishing you every happiness,

Lee

Exponent Ideas said...

Hi Mr. Williams,

I am reading this blog for Concordia University's doctoral program in education, class on ethics. Here's the "blurb": Next week finds us looking at the way in which our core self (or "soul") finds its place in the world and in our vocations. We will be doing a film study of Finding Forrester, which is available through Netflix, Amazon, and public libraries. Schedule time to view this film (136 min.) and review the two film study webpages associated with the project.
The Moral Premise Blog: Story Structure Craft
http://moralpremise.blogspot.com/2007/04/finding-forrester-2000.html

I'm thrilled to learn you have a blog for your magnificent book! Wishing you every happiness,

Lee

Dondra Davenport said...

I am reading this blog for an ethics class for Concordia University. I really enjoyed the movie Finding Forester because I remember being in a place scared to share who I am to the world. Trying to fit with in crowd, knowing I didn't fit at all. I also know someone like Forrester too. I have watched the movie over and over again and still find ethical relevance to world in which we live. The main thing I found in the movie was love and that is more important than anything in this world to me.

Anonymous said...

I was extremely disappointed in this movie. I completely agree with Jay Spark. The story was predictable and one dimensional. And a complete rip off of Good Will Hunting.
Also, saying someone is unintelligent without any evidence to back it up is insulting and pointless. Next time, think of an argument first.

Stanley D. Williams said...

Com'on Anonymous...the other Anonymous made a point with good evidence for critiquing Jay, although he probably over judged the man. The argument is there...to fully write out the essay and put it on the screen would have limited the audience's ability to identify with the characters. It's a technique all good stories used, creating a gap for the audience's identification and participation. Too much on the nose stuff and we distance ourselves. For the few that have not liked the movie, it has been a great inspiration for more. Jamal, by the way does have some serious flaws, which is how we at first identify with him.

Anonymous said...

I think, while Jamal may have had some flaws at the beginning of the movie (i.e. keeping his intelligence secret, etc.) later on the flaws are subverted in order to keep the story on an upward track. Throughout the whole film I never found myself feeling particularly nervous for the main character, which SHOULD be the point of any story. I knew what was going to happen in order for the character to get out of any major situation, a fault of the movies predictability.

Anonymous said...

This movie is very edifying and uplifting. It makes you feel there is still hope for the human race.

Erik said...

The movie was very "down to earth", and i liked it.

Erik from sweden

luis arias said...

Stan your observations make a grade of greatness , thanks to your inside view , well , one realizes the literary worth as itself so as for the propose of get into the film and authorship(es) . It was a delight to read your inspiring allegation . And one can seriously think about if the film maker would content all the fully you found out . Probably but intuition or creativeness have theirs own ways . Shortenings sure there are . And in one of the appointment we can not discern any difficulty to get through .... certainly one should ascribe them to the medium . Lesser that to the work . Even the lecture partial of the imaginary text , locks up a limitation but of the audience and you are right in the choice to bring the quote .... Thanks a lot man ! jaja !

GAyle Macklin said...

As said before, doctoral program at Concordia. Loved this movie before, found your website so insightful.

Living in Abu Dhabi, UAE, crossing many of the unknowns here, braving the front of change.

Kim Fandiño said...

I am a doctoral student from Lebanon Oregon with Concordia University, Portland. We are watching it in relation to our Ethics EDDC 615 class.

Anonymous said...

this is just a little of what I am writing in my English class from Russellville, AR at Russellville High School.

In the movie Forrester William Forrester is talking to Jamal about assumptions and the behavior of the individuals that make them. Some of the assumptions that us as individuals make or based on what we here and we think about it too hard. So we make up things in are mind that we think are true about what was said when it’s not. Jamal is accused of plagiarism on his essay the he entered in the school's writing contest. When he quoted it he didn’t know that the title and the first paragraph in the essay that he wrote was already published.
They are wanting to kick him out because of him plagiarizing the Forrester’s title of his book. Jamal didn’t know that he could be cited for doing so, if he was to site who wrote the article he would be breaking a promise that he made to William Forrester. The Jamal went to Forrester he told him that he would be kicked out of school. So they decide to discuss the bitter prejudice that Crawford exhibits toward Jamal. Forrester ask Jamal if he can offer him some advice so he does and he says “Do you know what people are most afraid of? What? What they don't understand. And when we don't understand we turn to our assumptions”. I think that if you are going to make assumptions you need to think and talk about what is transpiring.
When Jamal if offered to play for a private schools basketball team Forrester is trying to find out if this is what he really wants. He gets to have an education and the school gets him to play on their team. Is it good for both parties or is it not

Anonymous said...

You did an excellent job analysing this film Stan, quite impressed.

I have a question for anyone willing to answer. Do you know what the meaning is to the opening rap? I have attempted deciphering it, however I am not so confident in my opinion and would be thankful to compare. I'm trying to do this for a school English assignment, even though it's not actually relevant to the assignment - I believe that it might help my understanding of the movie, thus my essay.

Thank you in advance.

Stanley D. Williams said...

I added a section at the bottom of the blog about the rap.

Beth Ann said...

I, too, am an Ed.D. student at Concordia Portland.

Hawkinson said...

I am an Ed.D. student at Concordia University - Portland. We are to watch the movie for our Ethics course then prepare a study guide (Doc or PPT) that incorporates the ethical theories and concepts we have discussed since the first week of class. Loved the movie and so happy I purchased it. My daughter loves to write and is studying Psychology and Journalism in college. I hope to watch it with her next time she is home.

Tiffany Laurencio said...

I also am an Ed.D. student at Concordia University - Portland. I am in a different semester than the above student, but we are also watching the movie for our Ethics course to prepare a study guide (Doc or PPT) that incorporates the ethical theories and concepts that are presented in the film. I have seen the movie in the past, but will be watching the film with a different perspective and critically analyzing characters, experiences, and synthesizing my findings with the material we are studying in our course.

Tiffany Laurencio said...

I also am an Ed.D. student at Concordia University - Portland. I am in a different semester than the above student, but we are also watching the movie for our Ethics course to prepare a study guide (Doc or PPT) that incorporates the ethical theories and concepts that are presented in the film. I have seen the movie in the past, but will be watching the film with a different perspective and critically analyzing characters, experiences, and synthesizing my findings with the material we are studying in our course.

lori said...

Great movie. A doctorate student from Concordia University. I viewed this film in an undergraduate class. Watched again and it is just as beneficial.

Lori Barlow

lori said...

Great movie. Concordia University doctorate student. Have watched this movie before in a undergraduate class and still love it.

lori said...

Loved this movie. A doctorate student from Concordia University. Watched before in a undergraduate class and watched it again this week.

Anonymous said...

Great movie. I'm writing for my Ethical Educators Course (Ed.D. in Transformational Leadership) at Concordia University.