Saturday, February 4, 2012

Movies of Yore

We have come to the end of our Renaissance study and I wanted to make sure I mentioned some of the fantastic films we have enjoyed!

We really liked Joan of Arc, the 1999 version starring Leelee Sobieski and Jacqueline Bissett.  Netflix didn't carry this, so I got a 30-day trial membership to Blockbuster Online just to receive it in the mail.  We really, really enjoyed it, but split it up over 2 days since it was long.  They do a fantastic job showing Joan's calling, her passion for leading the French to defeat the English and help Charles VII realize his place on the throne (played by Neil Patrick Harris in a terrible bowl haircut). 

The memory work for this week was....."During the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc and King Charles VII led the French to defeat the English in the Battle of Orleans.  In the late 1340's, rats carrying The Plague killed one in three Europeans."

During a study of the Reformation and Martin Luther, we rented the film "Luther".  It stars Joseph Fiennes (of Shakespeare in Love) and Alfred Molina (your kids might recognize him as Dr. Octopus from Spiderman 2).  If you are studying the Reformation, it would be a great way to bring the story to life.  It's available on Netflix and you can read the review here.  It is PG-13 for unscrupulous behavior by a few cardinals and some burning at the stake by those who possess Luther's writing. I felt like it was a great way to show how the people of Europe were used to a message of hellfire and brimstone until Martin Luther came on the scene.  He preached a message of a loving Heavenly Father and believed that everyone should be able to read the scriptures for themselves. 

The memory sentence that the boys memorized this week (thank you, Classical Conversations teachers' guide) was......

"In 1517, Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation by printing the 95 Theses, which made Pope Leo X excommunicate him."  (of course, we make up an awesome song and hand movements to help them AND ME remember this forevermore).  Songs are the key to memorization.

Of course, I'm watching Showtime's The Tudors to get more insight into the time period of Henry VIII and Martin Luther (I never knew that Henry used Martin Luther's new teachings to justify his divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon).  I'm afraid the kids will never see this while under my roof (mature doesn't even begin to describe some of the courtier's behavior, especially the King), but Mama is enjoying it!


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