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Happy go-lucky


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Learning beyond the classroom in Happ

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Happy go-lucky

  1. 1. HAPPY GO LUCKYLearning Beyond the Classroom
  2. 2. Aims & Learning OutcomesAims• To examine the contrasting contexts of learning and teachingLearning Outcomes• Discuss the construction of teachers and teaching in Happy-Go-Lucky• Examine stereotypes of characters as portrayed in Happy-Go-Lucky• Explore the messages on the meaning and significance of teaching the film conveys
  3. 3. Happy Go LuckyDirector – MikeLeighProducer –Simon ChanningWilliamsCinematography– Dock PopeStarring – SallyHawkins, EddieMarsan
  4. 4. Synopisis“Poppy (Sally Hawkins) is an irrepressibly cheerfulprimary school teacher who won‟t let anyone oranything get her down. Even when her bicycle , whichshe so happily rides through the busy streets of Londonis stolen, her first thought is only: „I didn‟t even get achance to say goodbye‟. Living with her flatmate Zoe(Alexis Zegerman), Poppy has a gift for making themost of life. Determined to learn to drive, she findsherself matched with Scott (Eddie Marsan), an uptightdriving instructor who is everything she is not”
  5. 5. Mike LeighFilms include:• Abigail‟s Party• Nuts in May• Vera DrakeFocus on the detailof humancharacters
  6. 6. GenreComedy?Romantic comedy?Drama?Mike Leigh genre?To what extent does it fit into any of these?
  7. 7. Film StructureScenes are loosely connectedScenes show details of interactionsSense of direction?“a film that goes everywhere – goes nowhere” (Name, 2009)Almost all about what is happening to Poppy
  8. 8. SettingEverywhere Poppy goesCovers the life of Poppy• Not just her professional lifeTeacher is not just a teacher• Mostly is not a teacherAtypical of „teacher movies‟• Nearly all action takes place in/around school - Trier (2001)
  9. 9. Conflict/Contrast Nochimson – “this is a movie that pits the bubbling fountain of exuberance welling up ceaselessly within its protagonist Poppy (Sally Hawkins), against the various shades of misery in the London around her.” (2009: 113-114)
  10. 10. Where is conflict?Poppy – ScottPoppy – Adult lifestyleHappiness - DepressionPoppy – Everyone else she meets
  11. 11. Context - Individuals in aSystemIndividuals we encounter are caught in theircircumstancesNochimson• Social boundaries & categories• Creation of isolation• Problem of transcending boundariesPoppy is no exception
  12. 12. PoppyWhat type of character is she
  13. 13. ScottWhat type of character is he?
  14. 14. Poppy as a WomanSingleIndependentStrongOverly PositiveLed a fulfilled lifeAttractiveRejects pressures• Mortgage, pension, babyHappy-go-Lucky
  15. 15. Scott as a PersonMiserableStressedSeriousRacistBecomes Infatuated withPoppy
  16. 16. Poppy as a Teacher Committed Caring Creative Devoted Spare time is focused on teaching...& lots of itImage from Foreman (2008) „2008‟s Best‟
  17. 17. Scott as a Teacher Never gives up Exasperated Loss of temper Controlling You‟re my last pupilImage from Uhlich, K (2008) „New York Film Festival 2008: Happy-Go-Lucky‟, SlantMagazine,
  18. 18. Poppy & Scott‟s relationshipPolar oppositesScott is infuriatedIs Poppy a difficult pupil?Why doesn‟t either one breakit up earlier?Who is the hero? force.html
  19. 19. Poppy as a PupilWhat is she like as a pupil• Similar or different to her role as a teacherHow does she respond to Scott‟s authority?How would you feel about teaching Poppy?Is she a bad pupil?
  20. 20. Women & Teachers on FilmGeneral absence of women as centralcharactersNon central characters• School of Rock• History BoysNot the central character, though significant
  21. 21. Women & Teachers on FilmTraditionally - lack of positive female characters (rolemodels?)More recently – characters who subvert ourexpectations• Women who “adopt” mens behaviour (Fisher, Harris, & Jarvis, 2008:10)Happy-Go-Lucky• Subverts the subversion• Positive, but not laddish
  22. 22. Women & Teachers on FilmFisher, Harris, & Jarvis – Women heroines• Traditional skills employed in a public context• Women taking on traditional male roles – macho characteristicsIn film - teaching as macho• Dangerous mindsTeaching as traditional feminine skills applied topublic setting• Happy-go-Lucky
  23. 23. Poppy as stereotypicalSingle, female teacherPrimary School teacher• Young childrenExtremely happyThe absence of tension between home & work
  24. 24. Depiction of TeachingTeaching as a professionTeaching as a vocationTeaching as rewardingTeaching as challengingTeaching as a technique
  25. 25. Variety of TeachingPoppy• Enthusiastic. PassionateFlamenco Teacher• Experiential, Emotional, personal life gets in the wayZoe• Committed, more subdued than PoppyScott• Confident, inflexible
  26. 26. Driving Lessons about LifeScott is secure in his knowledge of teaching• „Let me tell you something about teaching‟Teacher becomes the pupilLearning beyond the classroomOnly as good as your teacherScott has passion, and strength• Disciplinarian• Fragile strength
  27. 27. Teaching StylesPoppy ScottChild centred FocusedPraises children RepetitionInteractive Pay attention Mnemonics work – believeAuthoritative me
  28. 28. Leigh on teaching“I believe that education, if its going to be anygood, must vary in its form and content andstructure and details according to the particularpassions of the people that teach.”“I find Scotts prescriptive, detached, reactionaryapproach to teaching abhorrent”• Interview with Kermode
  29. 29. Bibliography Fisher, R; Harris, A; Jarvis, C (2008) Education in Popular Culture: Telling Tales on Teachers and Learners, London: Routledge Kermode, J (2006-2011) „Mike Leigh talks Happy-Go- Lucky‟, Eye for Film, [Online] Available at [Accessed 18th March 2011] Name, J (2009) „Study guide for the film Happy-Go-Lucky‟ [Online] Available at: HappyGoLucky.pdf [Accessed 17th March 2011] Nochimson, M. P (2009) „Part II: Of Now, Passion, and the „We‟‟, Film-Philosophy, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 112-123 Trier, J.D. (2001) „The Cinematic Representation of the Personal and Professional Lives of Teachers‟, Teacher Education Quarterly, Summer, pp. 127-142