Director: Vittorio Caratozzolo I Runtime: 3 mins 18 secs I Country: Italy
Tyranny and democracy clash in a vividly imaginative classroom session
Director Vittorio Caratozzolo is not a professional filmmaker. He describes himself as a simple middle school Grade 1 teacher who loves to make learning fun for his students. In his short and experimental film, Tyrannosaurus Blues, Vittoro transforms his classroom to a mini political model of the planet with a student acting as a megalomaniac dictator, another as the ever suffering democracy and the rest of students as the conduits of chaos. This is his way of introducing his students to complex concepts such as manipulation of will, futility of wars and the effectiveness of unity against oppression. Concepts, which a lot of adults still find difficult to grasp as evident by the unchecked and unrelenting abuse of political power that we see around the globe every day.
This is a film made solely through the exuberance and passion of childhood innocence guided by a mentor who clearly cares enough to equip the youngsters with the power of rational thought and make them understand the value of free will. There is contagious energy in every frame, and a clear motivation to get the message across.
While Tyrannosaurus Blues is a no budget affair, it is remarkable as to how much Vittorio and the kids have been able to achieve by stretching the boundaries of creativity. The editing is fresh and impactful, the color tones shift with the tonality of the narrative and the camera flows freely with imaginative abandon. The music, also created by Vittorio and the students is especially noteworthy. Hip Hop beats blend seamlessly with techno rhythms to draw you into the mood of the moment.
This is a remarkable effort that underlies the fact that creativity and imagination do not require a big budget and fancy equipment to fly. Vittorio and the kids deserve high praises for putting together an energetic, message driven film. We wish more and more teachers around the world will follow suit and realize the creative potential of cinema as an excellent learning medium.
Tyrannosaurus Blues is currently playing in select film festivals worldwide.