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Books on Film Appreciation, or Annotated Lists of Great Films

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I've tried to search for an old thread like this but haven't found one. If someone wants to point me to one, that's great.


I'd like to tackle (in a fun way) exposing my kids to movies that are ones they should see -- either because they are good, or exemplify something, or are alluded to by other things they'll run across. Luckily for me I grew up watching tons of old movies on WGN in Chicago, and then rented or saw a ton in high school, college etc. Also I took great film appreciation classes in high school and college, some combined with history, foreign language or literature. My husband has a film buff / history prof dad who exposed him to tons of stuff.


It just isn't happening naturally here. My kids watch a lot of documentaries and shows like Mythbusters, and of course do a lot of things other than screen time. They have a lower tolerance for slow moving stuff than I do.


So I guess I have 2 questions:


--Should I institute a family movie night or some other tradition like that? My husband's work schedule is unpredictable but I'm sure I could get the boys into something like that if I stuck to it. We just don't tend to have a lot of weekly traditions like that.


--I know there are a lot of top 100 film lists, but I need a book or other source that's more annotated about why we would watch it. Most of them I've seen but don't always have a memory of things that would be objectionable. I realize I could cross reference with the sites that rate movies for family friendly (and we're not super sticklers here) but I guess I'm looking ideally for a book that I could browse to give me ideas of what to TiVo or rent.


Thanks for any ideas!

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I got a GREAT book from the library on just that, and keep thinking I need to buy it. http://www.amazon.com/Best-Old-Movies-Families-Watching/dp/1400096863/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1293429241&sr=1-1


Sorry about the messy link. The name of the book is

The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together by Ty Burr. He lists movies for kids by age (3-6, 7-12, 13+) and then I think also by movie genre.


I really enjoyed this book and it made me want to go out and rent a bunch of movies!

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You should have a family movie night. It is a great activity that both parents and kids enjoy, and it can be a time when you watch movies that you otherwise might not. :) I recommend exposing children to a wide variety of films, from silent films to foreign films.


This is a book that I would recommend. It explains why each film was selected to be on the list.

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Thanks. These recommendations were really helpful.


I talked to my kids about it tonight. They seem up for it. I think within parameters we might rotate who picks the movie, and I'm trying to give them input about which night of the week we do it (right now they want Saturday, which seems strange, but I think I'm up for it). Normally if we do movies, they gravitate to the usual kids' fare, and I'm trying to expand that. They are actually open to more unusual fare away from home, but I think we need some formality if we are to succeed at home without drifting away to do other things. And of course that applies to me too! I need to watch it too if we are going to have great conversations.


Thanks for the book ideas. Both look good!

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