FilmQ04b_Florence, Italy: Birthplace of the Renaissance
How to Use Video as a Source
Step #1: Familiarize yourself with film questions prior to viewing the film. By reading the questions and understanding the vocabulary contained within, you allow yourself the luxury of viewing the film without having to look at the questions continuously.
Step #2: View and Listen Attentively. Unlike a book, a video provides information via visual images and audio. Both forms of data are ‘more valuable together’ than separately. For example, turn the volume off on your TV during your favorite program. Then, raise the volume while ‘blacking out’ the image. Under which conditions was the data most richly delivered? Always make sure that you have unobstructed viewing of a film and that the sound is audible.
As you view the video, pay attention to visual and/ or audio cues that reflect the issues raised by the questions below. Your responses should refer to video content as well as your current knowledge and understanding of history.
Step #3: Organize Your Thoughts. Unlike a book, the data from a video is often delivered at a constant rate. With a book, you can slow your reading speed when you encounter a particular segment that is complicated. You can also turn back to a previous page to review information. A film is a bit different in that you may not always have the option to use ‘slow motion’ or ‘rewind’. Therefore, maintaining focus on the imagery and sound is important. Targeted Notes will reduce the amount of time you’re looking away from the film. By writing quick and simple phrases of a few words each, you maintain greater attention to film events.
Targeted notes use key words/ phrases that will ignite a thought or idea when you read them later. There is no concern for grammar or spelling while doing this. After the film has ended, you look at your targeted notes and manipulate the data to compile responses in complete sentences.
Organizational Tip: Vertically divide your sheet of paper (where you’ll write your responses). On the ‘left’ half, take targeted notes for each question given. After viewing the video, use the targeted notes to compose complete responses to each question (on the ‘right’ half of the sheet).
Your responses to these film questions will form the foundation of, or supplement, your notes for this lesson. Europe emerges from the Medieval period led by the Northern Italian city-states. The accumulation of wealth from commercial activities coupled with the civic pride that ran very high among these cities, provided the kindling to set Europe’s creativity ablaze. As the mind is illuminated, old notions are increasingly challenged. A major funding source for this creative explosion is a merchant family => The Medici.
SOURCE: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance ©2004. Episode 1: Birth of a Dynasty [~54 min.]
Context: 15th – 16th C., Florence, Europe.
1. At the start of the 15th C., treasure hunters scoured the dead entombed in graves belonging to The Church. They sought a ‘treasure’ that became the source of their illicit trade.
a. What did they seek?
b. Why do you suppose it was buried among the dead?
2. Why was Florence, among the cities of Europe in the 15th C., unique?
3. Why was Giovanni di Medici appropriately labeled a ‘Patron’?
4. How did Medici patronage lead to the family becoming “Bankers of God”?
5. Civic pride being what it was in 15th C. Northern Italy, the citizenry was embarrassed by an ‘eyesore’.
a. What was that eyesore?
b. Why had it become an eyesore?
c. Why would the Medici put their finances and reputation behind the effort to repair this eyesore?
d. Who did the Medici select to address this problem?
e. In 1434, this person invented a technique that changed art for all time. What was it and what did it do?
f. How was the eyesore converted into a testament to human ingenuity?
6. The Medici were exiled after a political conflict, but their absence led to a commercial collapse in Florence. Why? How was the economic vitality of the city restored?
7. How did the Medici run a government that was supposed to be a republic?
8. Explain why anyone would spend enormous sums of money for artistic patronage in 15th C. Florence? (Ex. The Medici spent the equivalent of six times the annual gov’t budget of Florence just for this type of patronage)