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What is Beyond the Screen?

File 183John Pungente, S.J, an internationally acclaimed media education expert, writer, and teacher, explores the art of filmmaking in Beyond the Screen – which first aired on Bravo! May 4, 2008. With each 30-minute episode examining a contemporary theatrical release, Beyond the Screen encourages viewers to analyze films and enriches their movie-viewing experience by offering them ways to look at movies.

“There are few people who have not seen The Wizard of Oz. One of my favorite moments comes towards the end of the movie when Dorothy pulls aside the curtain and reveals the truth about the wizard,” says Pungente, host of the new series. “In Beyond the Screen, we want to pull back the curtain on the movies we watch.”

Using footage, and interviews with the cast and crew, Beyond the Screen examines the featured movie’s genre, themes, filmmaking techniques, and the film’s relevance in the world at large. It’s about discovery, appreciation, and critical understanding of movies.

For 10 years – 1997 to 2007, Bravo!’s award-winning series Scanning the Movies, encouraged audiences to watch carefully and think critically and gave audiences new ways of looking. Beyond the Screen continues this.

Instead of reviewing and rating movies with a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down verdict, Pungente and his team analyze and look at the ways in which movies entertain, enlighten and affect audiences. Though the act of sitting together in darkened theatres is a communal experience, our emotional and intellectual responses to the same movie or character can be wildly divergent. Why and how this happens is Pungente's central fascination and a basic tenet of media literacy.