1. Watch the short film above. While watching, you can take notes using our Film Club Double Entry Diary (PDF) to help you remember specific times.
2. After watching, think about these questions:
What questions do you still have?
What connections can you make between this film and your own life or experience? Why? Does this movie remind you of anything else you’ve read or seen? If yes, how and why?
3. An additional challenge | Answer the essential question at the top of this article: Is pro wrestling an art form?
4. Then join the conversation by clicking the comment button and posting in the box that opens to the right. (Students 13 and older are welcome to comment, though teachers of younger students are encouraged to post what their students have to say.)
5. After you post, try re-reading to see what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting another comment. Use the “Reply” button or the @ symbol to address this student directly.
6. To learn more, read “Skipping the Opera. Go see some professional wrestling. Tim Grant, the filmmaker, writes:
I was first exposed to wrestling through my dad, whose favorite wrestler was Dusty Rhodes. When I was growing up, he would attack me by surprise shouting “I am the American dream”, then lift my 7 year old body in the air, tackle me on the couch and aim for the pin. I escaped after the second count and rebounded triumphantly to victory, leaving my father defeated on the green carpet in our living room as I paraded around the house with my hands in the air.
Fast forward a few years: my cousins persuaded their mother to let us record our wrestling matches with her Sony Handycam. It was the first video camera I used. We had entrance music, costumes and special moves. A few years later, in my early teens, I was spending half the night with friends playing WCW vs. nWo: World Tour for Nintendo 64. I always picked my favorite wrestler, Macho Man Randy Savage. At that time, I was beginning to realize that professional wrestling was “fake”. But Macho Man said every word with such conviction, with a thought process that seemed almost insane. I wondered: So if wrestling is fake, does Macho Man know?
Things started to change when my family moved from extremely rural northern Georgia to slightly less rural western North Carolina. My world has become bigger. I started listening to more than Christian music and watching movies outside of my family’s approved watch list and my grandfather’s westerns. I walked away from the fight. Then I saw Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and became a film evangelist, offering my review to anyone who wanted to listen to it: “You have to see it. It has it all. Drama. Romance .Revenge.Good versus evil.Movies became my defining interest in my late teens,if you had to know anything about me,I wanted it to be that I was in the movies.I was out of wrestling and I was proud of myself for having the maturity to do it. Wrestling was fake and gross, while legit cinema was subtle and poetic. I still loved Randy Savage, but as one loves a friend of childhood with which we no longer really identify.
But within minutes of meeting Cauliflower wrestler Chase Brown, when we shared a table with our loved ones at an uncrowded dinner party, I realized how wrong I had been about wrestling. “It’s storytelling,” Chase told me. “There’s more than people think.” He drew comparisons with classical Greek drama, Shakespeare, and, specifically, philosophy, his field of study at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC He talked about the concepts of truth and the factors that make a character good or bad. The role of catharsis and how to understand a crowd. How wrestling, at its best, is the closest form of theater to jazz. I felt appropriately called for my judgments on wrestling over the years, understanding that I had reserved the power of the story for acclaimed movies and other fan-approved “higher forms” of art. cultural authorities. I had become a snob.
Want more student-friendly videos? Visit our cine-club section.
Students aged 13 and over in the US and Britain, and 16 and over elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by Learning Network staff, but remember that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.