|Index||2 reviews in total|
Interesting movie & very informative. Starring Jay W. Jensen, a drama
teacher with the Miami Public Schools, who according to this film, has
been the inspirational driving force in the lives and careers of
various actors, actresses, singers, directors,producers, movie stars,
sports announcers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and other professionals.
Jensen comes across as witty, inspirational, and slightly eccentric. However, the interviews with his former students, among them movie star, Andy Garcia, is very emotional and moving.
This is a movie which will have the public thinking, and hopefully acting to save drama studies throughout the nation.
Class Act is A Class Act.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before I start, I should probably point out that I teach in a high
school for the arts--so I obviously have a strong bias in favor of
infusing arts in schools. Because of this, much of the film just
reinforced what I already know, though it was nice to feel validated.
This movie is like two separate movies rolled into one. First, it's a documentary about how important the arts are to public school. It gives many compelling arguments, such as the high correlation between student involvement with music programs and graduation rates. However, the film at other times is much more of a documentary about a particularly gifted theater teacher, Jay W. Jensen. He was a very vibrant teacher who'd lived an amazing life in many ways. On top of his teaching, he was friends with Tennessee Williams, taught many who went on to careers in Hollywood and was engaged to a transsexual many years back! For more on his amazing life, read his IMDb biography. While both parts of the movie interested me, the more emphasis that went on Mr. Jensen, the more the argument for better funded arts programs was de-emphasized and vice-versa. I really wish the film had chosen one path and not bounced back and forth between them. Or, perhaps if they'd made two documentaries--one on each topic.
Still, it is compelling and fascinating--a subject that is dear to me but unfortunately isn't all that dear to most people.
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