Saturday, November 3, 2012
Raising Funny Kids 14, Making Movies
Last week, my children spent two days producing this film as a birthday gift for their Grandpa, who loves old Westerns, 60s Sci-Fi, and 70s cop shows like Bullitt.
Researching old movies on YouTube, together they came up with a Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball type of theme and produced this 1920s silent, black and white film (silent with the exception of their opening Vitamitavegemin parody).
Why did I let them take two days off of school to act, edit, and produce a film when they could have simply sent their Grandpa a gift via Amazon.com? Because encouraging lighthearted, aesthetic behavior in children will yield grander results than exposing them to commonality.
I wish for my children to enjoy a rich combination of experiences that allow them to soar above the spirit. Rich in ideas and intuitions, children and teenagers can create pioneering work when given the opportunity and technological tools to do so. Exploratory work children can create in literature, theater, music, painting, and film offer us a variety of revealing perspectives about the future trajectory of human culture and the how our species may someday capture the essence of living.
Popular opinion seems to treat the aesthetics of child raising as lightweight, while the aspects of challenge and tragedy seem to be regarded with greater seriousness. Why this favoring of sadness over joy and the wondrous heights of human spirit in its significance for culture?
Humor, comedy, exploration and freedom to create are significant aspects of the Human Condition. A lighthearted, less hurried mode of existence promotes the self-individualizing progress of human development and growth.
In honor of raising funny kids, consider movie making. As my children worked on this film, I immensely enjoyed observing how the experience elicited laughter, mirth, joy and creativity from them. Speaking solely as a parent, I am now in proud possession of a joyful moment from their childhood, captured on film for many more years of personal enjoyment.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun
Self-portrait with Daughter
Oil on canvas.
Louvre, Paris, France