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Class Act

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the creators of Supersize Me, comes a funny, provocative, yet heart-felt story of drama teacher extraordinaire, Jay W. Jensen, who has touched the lives of thousands of students over the years. Class Act is set agianst the specter of No Child Left Behind and documents how the arts are disappearing from the American classroom, giving us a report card on what lies ahead for America's kids. Includes interviews with Andy Garcia, songwriter Desmond Child and Broadway producer Adam Epstein.

Review

A passonate and eloquent argument for the importance of arts education in public schools... --Miami Herald

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jay W. Jenson, Andy Garcia, Desmond Child, Adam Epstein
  • Directors: Sara Sackner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HART SHARP VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SQFBWS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,397 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Class Act" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2009
Format: DVD
Class Act explores the very real need for increased funding for arts education in today's American schools. The documentary makes a strong case that without the arts people cannot truly be whole or even truly happy--what if, after all, we lived in a world without music, movies and creativity? For example, my friends all know that I have a deep, deep passion for music; I can never get enough of it. For me, life without music would be dull, to say the least.

The film strengthens its case by showing us interview footage with a very large number of experts in both education and psychology; and we hear from other professionals including actor/director/producer/musician Andy Garcia, Desmond Child (songwriter, "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "Who Let The Dogs Out") and director Brett Ratner ("Rush Hour," Red Dragon" and "X-Men 3." We even see interviews with expert politicians and former government officials on both sides of the aisle as they cry out for increased funding for arts education in American schools. They all argue that there simply isn't enough funding for arts education in the schools; and in some cases there is no funding whatsoever for arts education. What we have seen is an ever increasing focus on test scores--which I'm really not against--but funds for music and drama classes have been sharply diminished.

In addition, the film focuses on one particularly charismatic drama teacher, Jay Jensen. We watch him work happily--and tirelessly--to improve the lives of both young and elderly students through arts education. We get great footage of some of his former students, including Andy Garcia, who enthusiastically validate that Jensen was a model teacher who could make students feel important by helping them express themselves through drama, art and creativity.
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I found this movie so inspiring and entertaining that I first considered briefly giving up my imminent retirement plans to help the crusade for Art in the Schools. Recovering from that, I wished I had the means to make this film available to every teacher, parent, administrator and governing body member, from the Superintendents to the legislators. It makes very clear the importance, in a life-long way, of arts in the schools for every student. What a profound difference could be experienced in our society if the arts had a universal high priority.
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Format: DVD
In every classroom across America there was some variation of the chair in the corner of the room with the dunce cap sitting on top of the chair waiting for the next wayward child to take their seat in the punishment chair. Never has a piece of furniture perhaps served struck such fear amongst children or commanded as much respect as the "time-out" chair in the American educational system.

And just as the classroom setting might have the dunce chair for a poorly behaving young child to go sit in, documentaries have their own set of a dunce chair. However, documentarians need not worry about scrunching down into a small piece of childhood furniture, rather, they must ensure their own work is interesting and informative for fear of having a critical movie review written about their work.

Unfortunately for those involved in the film, Class Act is being sent to the corner chair.

Directed by Sara Sackner, Class Act looks to the American educational system with a critical glance with respect to the lack of value and emphasis that is being put upon the arts aspect of a child's educational development. While certainly the topic is an interesting one, perhaps it is too narrow of a focus as the larger issue at hand really is that the American students are not having enough money invested in their education as a whole.

Released in 2006, the film attempts to correlate the importance upon having a well established arts program directly to the success or lack thereof that a child will experience in school. The movie tries to simplify the equation of what education is all about to a belief amongst at least the director that a child without arts will not succeed and a child with arts will rise above the rest.
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Format: DVD
Test, test, test! No Child Left Behind! Mandates handcuffing schools, classrooms and teachers. We seem to be forgetting how to educate the complete child and helping to give the most well rounded education possible. We are producing kids who can take tests but cannot do critical thinking and just as importantly lacking creativity and compassion. This film shows what happens when the arts flourish in our schools and what happens when they disappear. Kids involved in the arts are better students and it has nothing to do with them growing up to be musicians, painters or actors that are merely a byproduct. Jay Jensen the drama teacher who was a main focus in this movie not only influenced lives of people who went on to careers in music, television, movies, and theatre but people who went on to the professional corporate world as well. If you live within a school district that is thinking of cutting the arts then you and everyone else in your community must see this film.
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