Nicholas Barber's the watch list: Back to school films
Sunday 08 September 2013
They do school films so much better in France, it seems. If the new term has you in the mood for some scholastic entertainment, you could watch Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959) or last year's François Ozon comedy, In The House. But start with Etre et avoir (2002, below), a quietly enchanting documentary that revolves around Georges Lopez, the sole teacher in a rural village primary. Lopez's patience and modesty (and pedagogical beard) are so moving the the film could have been called "Au Revoir, M. Pomme Frites". Try not to think about Lopez suing the producers, unsuccessfully, for a chunk of the profits.
Next, join The Class, based on the experiences of François Begaudeau, who also plays a version of himself in the film. The winner of the Palme d'Or in 2008, Laurent Cantet's nuanced drama is set in an inner-city secondary school where the brightest pupils can be the toughest, and the most well-meaning teaching can be the most problematic.
Still, even sink schools can be a breeze compared with the supposedly elite academies at the other end of the financial scale. Lindsay Anderson's If .... (1968), another Palme d'Or winner, is the angriest and boldest of boarding school satires. Even now, it's shocking to see how the Whips treat the Scum, but the worst indignities actually happened to the screenwriter, David Sherwin, as a pupil at Tonbridge School.
Forty years on, conditions haven't improved, according to Afterschool (2009). Antonio Campos's blacker-than-black comedy details the corruption and cruelty in an Ivy League prep school. Look out for teenager Ezra Miller (above), already radiating the otherworldly intelligence which made him so scary two years later in We Need To Talk About Kevin.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
May the Fourth Be With You: The internet celebrates Star Wars Day with new Twitter symbols and memes
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show