Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Kill A Mockingbird Author Harper Lee Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

I'm starting the new Lights, Camera, Learn! blog by re-posting the blog entries I made for the official AFI Screen Education blog.

Thu 8 Nov 2007

At a White House ceremony, President Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to author Harper Lee. Bush praised Lee’s 1961 book, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD as a “gift to the entire world” and one that “has influenced the character of our country for the better.

Mockingbird, a staple on the reading lists of thousands of schools nationwide, won Lee a Pulitzer Prize in 1961. The 1962 film adaptation directed by Robert Mulligan and staring Gregory Peck won 3 Academy Awards in 1962 including Best Actor for Mr. Peck and Best Adapted Screenplay for Horton Foote.

To Kill a Mockingbird has also made frequent appearances on many of the AFI 100 years 100 Movies lists. It is # 25 on the all-time top 100 American movies, #2 on the 100 most inspiring films, the music composed by Franz Waxman was ranked #17 as best film score and Peck’s Atticus Finch is listed as the #1 hero on the AFI 100 Heroes & Villains list.

Educators all over the world use the movie to teach the book and the book to teach the movie. Comparing this book to the film it inspired has also made its way into the teaching of AFI Screen Ed Process as a means of understanding how the written word can correlate to and contribute to the understanding of visual grammar.

Shots=Sentences, Scenes=Paragraphs and so on. The medium may differ but the telling of great stories remains central to the human experience.

The AFI Screen Education Center congratulates Ms. Lee on this honor.

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