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Gothic Teach Meet LATE BfI 16 th July 2013

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1 Gothic Teach Meet LATE BfI 16 th July 2013

2  19 th Century text  Short!  Well written  Film versions  A rich resource  Popular A level module & English graduate courses  General popularity – students will have prior knowledge to draw on

3  Pictures – door; Edwardian neighbourhood; pictures of Jekyll/Hyde (cinema), even a painting of a suicide………  For each picture the students, in a small group, discussed the following questions: What can you see? What can you infer? What questions do you have?


5  Reading!  Focused closely on the description of Mr Utterson  Four students researched ‘Gothic’  The Unexplained – keeping a tally of the unexplained: door, key, revulsion caused by Mr Hyde, Jekyll’s strange will, letters – many of these are ‘ordinary’  Focus on The Strange Case of Dr J & Mr Hyde – a detective element to it all.  Working on selected quotations in pairs - sharing this with the class

6 “The letter was written in a odd, upright hand, and signed ‘Edward Hyde’; and it signified, briefly enough, that the writer’s benefactor, Dr Jekyll, whom he had long so unworthily repaid for a thousand generosities, need labour under no alarm for his safety, as he had means of escape on which he placed a sure dependence.” Signified – made known Benefactor – a person who does good or gives money for a good purpose Dependence – trust What is interesting about the handwriting? What is this paragraph telling us about the letter’s content? What can you say about the language used in this sentence and the way it is structured?

7  1.How do they use body language and gesture to show fear, despair as well as happiness?  2.How are facial expressions used to show emotions? Are they exaggerated? Would you call any of them gothic?  3.Are there any unexplained things, events or moments? For example the rats.  4.How is the landscape used to create atmosphere or tension?  5.How are buildings used to create atmosphere or suspense? Are there any particular parts of buildings that are used? (E.g. windows, doors etc.)  6.How is blood used as a recurring theme in the film?  7.What props are used effectively? How do they contribute to the film’s telling of the story? (Think of books, letters etc.) (A selection of some of the questions they had to consider.)

8 What should you include in your film? Close up of symbolic objects (in J&H we have a key, a cheque, a will, letters.) Shadows Fingers or hands (that may change, transform) Architecture (part of a building – in J&H we have the door, the laboratory, Dr J’s cabinet.) A character or characters – so acting roles Some sort of narrative that link your shots so that the audience can infer a story from your film – and remember this is the unexplained, so it can be full of mystery and questions! Your film is silent – narration and music can/will be added afterwards.

9 Gothic films in the Mediatheque:  Book Group: Books turned into films. Dracula, Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, including various film and TV adaptations of these novels plus docs about the authors. The Dracula collection includes the original Hammer film restored by the BfI as well as Murnau’s Nosferatu.  There are also a number of shorts, including BFI productions The Pit (1962) and To Have and To Hold (2000), plus some quite creepy animations like Stalk and Rabbit which have a macabre tone.  Feature films: The Dark Eyes of London (1939), the first British film to be given the H for Horrific rating and starring Bela Lugosi.  There is an up to date A-Z list of all titles available at

10 See this link for the Year 9 Gothic films:

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