4July 2005


Ten films that your children ought to see

Spielberg, an Ealing comedy and an Iranian epic make a list aimed at ending 'the demonisation' of the cinema.

It is an unusual mix. A cartoon about the Japanese underworld, a subtitled tale from Sweden and an Iranian epic not available in this country. They are among suggestions for the top10 films that all children should see before they reach 14. Fed up with the 'demonisation' of the cinema, the British Film Institute has drawn up the list to provoke schools and parents into studying of films as seriously as books and art.
典he predominant debate is about what children should not watch rather than what they should, said Cary Bazalgette, head of education at the BFI, whose list is part of its debate on children's cinema next week at London's Barbican Centre.
敵ood films are a vital part of our cultural heritage. They teach children to develop skills involving narrative, inference and deduction of plot development, and recognition of character traits. It is important for children to see these films before 14 because that is the age after which their cultural tastes tend to be established.
Melvin Burgess, who adapted the film Billy Elliot into a book, questioned the project's value. 鄭 list of books that children should have read is a bit dodgy because there are a lot of good books out there, and the same is true of films, he said.
But Michael Morpurgo, the former children's laureate and author of more than 90 books, said that provoking children to watch better films was good: 鼎hildren like to be challenged.

Cary Bazalgette of the BFI gives her verdict: ...

ET The Extra Terrestrial, US
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Released: 1982
A boy befriends a visitor from outer space who wants to 'phone home'.
鄭 hugely successful American film, but without stars and with the guts to make the power of love its central theme. The best children's' films maintain the integrity of a child's world. ...

Billy Elliot, UK
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Released: 2000
A motherless boy, above, from a pit village takes up ballet against the backdrop of the 1984 miners' strike.
鄭 modern British film which breaks new generic ground. ...

The General, US
Directed by Buster Keaton
Released: 1926
The hero risks his life as he pursues his railway engine, hijacked by spies during the American Civil War, above. 典his opens up the world of silent cinema when stunts were done for real. One of the best introductions to an earlier age of cinema. ...

Hue and Cry, UK
Directed by Charles Crichton
Released: 1946
A gang of East End kids realise their favourite comic is being used as a means of communication by crooks and decide to hunt them down.
摘aling films are central to the UK's cultural heritage: here the characteristic semi-documentary style reveals London's docklands and bomb sites, but celebrates children's solidarity. ...

Kes, UK
Directed by Ken Loach
Released: 1969
A schoolboy in Barnsley tries to escape his working-class surroundings by training a kestrel.
撤erhaps one of the most enduring texts of the Sixties, this film may challenge children used to action and excitement, but the focus and strength of David Bradley's performance will hold their attention. ...

Kirikou et la Sorci鑽e, France/ Belgium/Luxembourg
Directed by Michel Ocelot
Released: 1998
An African boy and a warrior seek out an evil sorceress who has devoured all but one of the males in the village.
摘xquisitely beautiful animated film. Funny and scary, but not too sophisticated or frightening for very young children. The resolution is not achieved through violence or spectacle but through bravery and tenderness. ...

My Life as a Dog, Sweden
Directed by Lasse Halstrm
Released: 1985
A boy of 12, above, living with his brother and terminally ill mother goes to stay with relatives in the country where he meets strange characters.
鄭 wealth of Scandinavian film is suitable for children. This enduring classic, is, by turns, funny, sad and alarming. ...

The Princess Bride, US
Directed by Rob Reiner
Released: 1987
A fairytale as told to a bedridden boy: the beautiful Buttercup is kidnapped and held against her will in order to marry the odious Prince Humperdinck.
展illiam Goldman's sparkling script from his own novel ensures sheer pleasure from end to end. ...

Spirited Away, Japan
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Released: 2001
A sullen 10-year-old girl moving house with her parents stumbles into the world of the Japanese gods.
撤robably the greatest animator alive, Miyazaki's films always posit an alternative reality. ...

Where is My Friend's House?, Iran
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Released: 1989
A boy tries to return a schoolmate's notebook he's unwittingly taken home but has no idea of his address.
哲o other director offers such fidelity to the dilemmas of childhood: the necessity of negotiating adult impatience, rules, power games, philosophising and indifference.

Amelia Hill
3 July 2005,6903,1520166,00.html

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