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Show and Tell: Terminus (1961)
Introduction English (1) English (2) Art Music  
image from Terminus (1961)
AuthorTanya Murray
ThemesCreating a sense of place, 'public' art, shape and form, perspective, colour.

There are all sorts of things you can do with Terminus in the Art room.

As pupils watch the film, or a portion of the film, for the first time, ask them to focus specifically on the way the station is portrayed. How has the filmmaker used his camera to create a sense of place? There is also a range of different locations within the station - the flower stall, the medical room, lost property, the platform. Ask students to note these down, thinking about their significance in creating the station's character.

Using their notes and ideas, explore students' responses to the film and the representation of Waterloo. Can students create an equally imaginative piece of advertising for the railways today? Challenge them to work in small groups to create the design brief for a mural or wall painting for Waterloo station. Encourage students to develop their ideas and produce a number of introductory sketches. What elements of the film did they find particularly inspiring? What themes and ideas do they want to convey? Who will see the mural/painting and what will engage them? At a higher level this activity could include a discussion around the idea of 'public art'. Who owns art and how important is its audience? What examples of public art can students come up with?

Alternatively, ask students to consider shape and form in the film - what camera shots or angles did they find particularly interesting? How might they translate these shapes into an abstract sketch? Or perhaps students could develop their understanding of perspective by sketching a scene from a different, imagined angle? There is also scope to explore the use of colour in film, compared to the black and white of Terminus. Do they think colour would enhance the film or detract from it?

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