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AFL goes to the Movies

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Over Thanksgiving break, Mr. Wilkes’ and Mr. Cowne’s AFL classes had the opportunity to go to the theater to watch “Killers of the Flower Moon”. As one of the attendees to this event, I personally enjoyed it.  It was a fun experience and overall I had a blast, after I found the theater showroom. I arrived at the theater 45 minutes early, just in time to catch the ending of the movie shown before. The 206 minute movie was a roller coaster, and the only thing that didn’t come as a surprise were the murders committed every five minutes. It certainly was a great adventure for the ones who were present.

I enjoyed the adventure and I hope that we get to do it again some time in the future. Overall the movie was a jack in the box: you never really knew when it would jump. From slowly poisoning people to shooting them in the head, it was always deepening the narrative. I liked the movie overall, I found it to be very informative and educational. With that being said, the movie is a deep thinking movie. It requires you to pay attention all the way through and for you to be constantly engaged. I found myself falling asleep a few times, so unless you are committed to the actors, the director or the book, I don’t suggest you watch it. I enjoyed the movie, don’t get me wrong, I just found that for other audiences it may not be as enjoyable. 

What is AFL? AFL is a class designed to study literature in film and some music. Each year, since its establishment in 2007, AFL has been taking a trip to the theaters to see a movie, and, in the words of Mr. Cowne, ¨each year’s class is different, and their choices in films illustrate that difference.  The AFL theater experience is a tradition that is just as special and beloved to me and Wilkes as the class itself.¨

For our Alternative Forms of Literature class, the movie was perfect. It combined the amount of thinking and cinematography that was needed for the class to analyze if we chose to. It was a great movie, and I enjoyed it, but in the words of Mr. Cowne, ¨it is the definition of a one-watch film for me.¨ I felt the same way about the movie. I enjoyed watching it, yet it left me with a feeling of ¨ok then¨. I will admit that I did not go into as much depth and analysis as our amazing teacher, Mr. Cowne. I could try to tell you what he said, but I feel that I wouldn’t give justice to his sense of humor and fun loving personality. I asked Mr. Cowne his opinion on the movie and the response I got is as followed: ¨When I heard that Martin Scorcese’s next project was a film version of the book ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ I immediately bought a copy.  I’d heard great things about the book, and Scorcese is one of my favorite directors of all-time.  Win-win.  The non-fiction narrative was a compelling read, and I was fascinated by both the horrifying acts committed against the Osage people and the birth of the FBI as well.  Yet, the structure of the novel was non-linear, bouncing around the early 20th century at times to keep the story interesting and to prevent the tragic events from creating too depressing a mood for the reader.  Yet a 300-page novel and a 3-hour film can be very different narratives, and a non-linear approach would never work for a director trying to create complex connections with characters in a serious drama.  So Scorcese needed a straightforward style that could, at times, make the viewing experience seem even longer than its 200-minute runtime.  It’s also about some truly evil acts, and the director wants you to feel just how malicious these crimes are deep down in your bones; consequently, the film features some truly graphic imagery.  Even I had to turn away from the screen on numerous occasions, and I’m a manly, bearded, bald guy.  The serious tone of the story also prevents Scorcese from adding in the humor that he uses so well in his longer films like Wolf of Wall Street or even Gangs of New York.  Overall, it was a daunting task to bring to the big screen, and Scorcese certainly did an admirable job.  He brought forth fantastic acting performances from big-name actors like Leonardo Dicaprio and Robert Deniro and even captured admirable efforts from not-really-actors Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.

Overall, it was a very well-made film that made for an uncomfortable but important viewing experience.  As a teacher who loves the old school grading system, I’d give it a B+.

I have nothing but love and respect for Marty…there is a reason his films have been nominated for nearly 100 Academy Awards.  I am not being hyperbolic at all when I say I could watch Goodfellas and The Departed once a month for the rest of my life, and they would never get old.  However, I could also go the rest of my life without watching ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ again and die a happy man.  It is the definition of a one-watch film for me, but it’s definitely worth that one watch.¨ Like I said, I couldn’t word Mr. Cowne’s feeling better than he could. 

I personally found the whole trip to be fun and exciting, and even though I am not used to those kinds of movies, I still found it interesting and educational. Yet, I think it is safe to say that everyone on the trip wasn’t there for the movie, they were there to spend time with some of the best teachers at MCHS.

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Noah Braswell, Staff Writer
Noah is a senior at MCHS. He is a second year journalist writer and a member of the MCHS Red and Grey. Noah used to swim for the MCHS Swim team. He enjoys writing because it allows him to say anything he want to say, and Noah can reach many more people this way. 

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