Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Teacher/Student-Coach/Student

In WHIPLASH, the majority of the film details the relationship between a sadistic music teacher and his talented but narcissistic student. One of the best films of the year beyond a doubt. But there is a long tradition of films, TV shows and also, of course, books about such relationships. It is practically its own genre.

Sometimes the teacher is a positive influence but it often goes the other way as in WHIPLASH and the forthcoming FOXCATCHER.

Two favorites of mine are THE MIRACLE WORKER, about Helen Keller starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke from 1962. And also the TV show FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Coach Taylor taught his students football but also how to be an honorable man. Annie Sullivan brought Helen Keller into a world she was excluded from.

What work about this sort of relationship, good or bad, speaks to you?

7 comments:

George said...

I always like THE WONDER BOYS, both the book and the movie.

Charles Gramlich said...

Being a teacher myself, you'd think I'd have watched more of these. Not many come to mind though.

Anonymous said...

Definitely, George.

I really liked WIN WIN with Paul Giamatti as the lawyer & wrestling coach who mentors Burt Young's troubled grandson, played by Alex Shaffer.

Jeff M.

Gerard said...

I've been intending to watch WIN WIN after Patti recommended it a year or two ago. Still have not gotten to it, and that's after taking the DVD home a couple times.

Ron Scheer said...

EDUCATING RITA comes to mind, but as a former student and teacher, I have never found this type of movie very plausible.

Cap'n Bob said...

Sands of Iwo Jima.

R.T. said...

Teacher-student relationships, I think, are -- 99.9% of the time -- too mundane for dramatic renderings. My teaching career -- 15 years in the classroom -- has produced no camera-ready moments. The quiet successes (when the students succeed in spite of everything) are not script material. But, hey, maybe I'm going about this teaching gig all wrong. Perhaps I should try for some Blackboard Jungle or To Sir With Love moments.