has nbc hired a sociologist?
from my inbox:
Greetings from Los Angeles!
Universal Pictures is hosting an upcoming screening of an important new film at the University of Minnesota and we're looking for your valuable input. We will be holding a complimentary screening of ALPHA DOG, a powerful drama inspired by true events, on Monday, November 27th, 7:30PM at the Oak Street Cinema. Director Nick Cassavetes (John Q, The Notebook) will also be conducting a post-screening Q&A to discuss the relevant issues raised in the film and we would like for you and your students to be a part of what promises to be an interesting, lively discussion. A detailed description of the film is included at the end of this email.
ALPHA DOG touches upon several major issues that are of vital importance to society today, such as the powerful aspirational effects that gang/thug culture has upon today's youth, the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse (especially amongst middle and upper-middle class youth) and how differing approaches to parenting can have major long-term effects on children. With these thematic elements and an all-star ensemble cast, ALPHA DOG should serve as a catalyst for major discussions that we think you and your students will find relevant to their course of study.
We would like to officially invite you and your students to see the film and participate in the Q&A session, as we are targeting our invites primarily to social science classes and organizations as we believe the themes of the film will resonate strongly with students and faculty in these particular areas of study. ALPHA DOG opens in theaters nationwide January 12, 2007 but we want to get the film out to the college community, as the studio and the filmmakers firmly believe that the powerful messages of the film need to be heard sooner rather than later.
We are happy to send you as many free screening passes as you wish to distribute to your students between now and the screening. If you are interested in taking part, please let us know where to send the passes and how many you wish to receive (each pass is good for one admission).
In addition, we will be conducting early screenings of the film in several cities starting the week of November 1. If you would like to see the film prior to committing to the campus screening, please let us know and we will forward you the necessary screening information.
We look forward to hearing from you as we begin this process and want to thank you in advance for your participation and feedback.
is this a new viral marketing gimmick or some variant of public criminology? are they reaching out to educators for credibility or money? can you imagine if professors actually blurbed films (the feel-good hit of the semester!)? i'd need to preview the movie before recommending it to my students, of course. i mean, hollywood thinks that crash was the definitive statement on american race relations. plus, the imdb description flags it for strong violence. that's just what my students need -- more university-sanctioned strong violence. there are always exceptions, but i've found that there's rarely a big intellectual or pedagogical payoff to showing such films as part of my classes. still, i'm intrigued that the studios are approaching educators directly.