You’re tired of the formula of one teacher inspiring inner city youth but the boarding school movie can be equally repellent, see the dire effort Jordan Scott’s Cracks for one.
Clockwork Mice is an understated British film that would fit what you’re looking for and is about the dangers of bonding with students. The Karate Kid shows that sometimes teachers have to get students to do things they won’t understand until much later.
Lord Of The Flies would be a quintessential high school english teachers movie, shown in a lot of classrooms as a curriculum standard. Peter Brooks 1968 version is a fairly faithful adaptation but not sure how recommendable it is. I personally prefer it to Lindsay Anderson’s joyless documentary.
If . . . is a funny choice to appear in this thread, since teachers in that film have completely ceded what little authority they have to the “whips,” or senior prefects, who have carte blanche to run the school as they see fit.
Is it has to be a fiction? To be and to Have (Nicholas Phillibert)
No, it doesn’t have to be fiction.
I remember the film you’re speaking about. The teacher seemed incredibly patient, and I wondered if it was an accurate depiction (i.e., did they leave out or miss moments of his flaws?). The boy Jojo stole the show, too.
The first thing that came to mind was Monsieur Lazhar.
My englist teacher told me Monsieur Lazhar was good so i’ll need to get to that. I also heard Detachment wasn’t too bad…
I adore The Class, definitely my favorite film about a teacher and his students. At 130 minutes, it is gripping and never boring.
Lazhar should be playing at the end of the month here, so I’ll try to catch it.
It may be formulaic – or, maybe it led to the formula – but the fact that 1988’s Stand and Deliver is a true story with as little gloss applied as possible makes it a remarkable cinematic experience. I think it’s one of the best films of that period (along with Longtime Companion, another slice-of-real-life gem), and it should not be dismissed as just another sub-genre pic. It really is inspiring.
I haven’t seen the film in a long time, but the subsequent films that followed the same pattern (many of them true or based on true stories) tarnishes this film, imo. Maybe “tarnish” isn’t the right word, but I guess I’m burnt out on this story. Plus, my sense is that these teachers, while admirable, often don’t teach for a long time or at least their success is sustainable, and that diminishes the formula a bit for me. (Add Conrack, with Jon Voight, as another film in this vein.)
24 eyes, by Keisuke Kinoshita. The story of a young teacher assigned to teach in a country school in the years before the Pacific War.
Just for completion, I’ll go ahead and add THE HISTORY BOYS, a bad film of a bad play.
I wondered about The History Boys. I’m disappointed to hear it wasn’t very good.
Jazz, there was just nothing there for me at all. AT ALL. Either on stage or on screen. The play got great reviews and multiple awards (entirely undeserved, to me at least) both in London and NYC, the film seems to have been released with little fanfare. Don’t let me dissuade you from seeing it — I know folks who just loved it.
Fred Wiseman’s High School might inspire teachers NOT to behave like the instructors at that Philadelphia institution! As such, it can serve as a negative role model.
Likewise, Jean Vigo’s Zero de Conduite.
I thought that Hamlet 2 was a pretty funny twist on the inspirational teacher genre. Although, Jazz probably wouldn’t like it because it’s postmodern. :)
OK. I appreciate the feedback. (I’m inclined to trust your judgment, despite you being utterly wrong about TD’s ending. ;)
I’m actually not against postmodern films, per se. Many of the ones I’ve seen have been flawed, is all.