Now Playing on Hark: The School of Rock (2003)
Jack Black may be the greatest teacher who ever lived. How’s that you say? Well, he pretty much bases his entire methodology on classic rock anthems and ballads, relating the lyrics to poetry and guitar riffs to mathematics. That’s right, he is the headmaster at ‘The School of Rock‘ and in 2003 he had people glued to the screen to learn a thing or two from AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne & Stevie Nicks.
Directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly) this tale is that of Dewey Finn (Jack Black), an out of work rock star wannabe who takes his roommate’s place as 4th grade substitute teacher at a conservative private school. While there under a fake identity he finds out that 10 year-olds simply do not have the same view of the world of rock & roll as he, so Dewey decides to enlighten them with his extensive knowledge. When he discovers the guitar talents of Zack (Joey Gaydos Jr.) and others, he concocts a plan to transform the entire class into a band complete with entourage of groupies, hair stylists, set decorators and roadies. All in complete, total secrecy from the parents and staff of the school.
Principal Mullins (Joan Cusack) is quite interested in Dewey’s teaching style as he seems to be unable to produce proof of his lessons plans every time she visits the classroom, along with the other teachers who are are confused by this mysterious new substitute. As the story progresses, Dewey finds himself unable to explain things as they spiral out of control, possibly ruining his chances of his ultimate determination to win the local Battle of the Bands with his newly created supergroup, so he can reclaim his glory and prove to his ex-bandmates that he is a force to be reckoned with.
This film is packed full of other notable actors and actresses such as Sarah Silverman, Amy Sedaris, Miranda Cosgrove & Frank Whaley. Of course, along with a lot of talented kids. It is funny, it is heartwarming, it is a reality check for how close-minded some communities & cultures can be when they are shut off from listening to rock albums. At least, that seems to be the underlying driving force of this “pro-rock” rebellion flick. And I am OK with that.
Some of the more memorable sound quotes from 2003′s ‘The School of Rock‘ include:
Everyone in this film does a great job, especially the kids. Jack Black is his traditional self (read: not acting) and his supporting cast is great. I had a good time with this film and writing this reminds me of how great the soundtrack is! Even if I do own all the songs in various formats it’s nice to hear them used in such a way, positive reinforcement & a tool for learning.
While this movie is not biographical in any way, I do know that there must be some absolute truth to the lessons taught in this film. For example, my high school art teacher Mr. Parsons played rock albums all day long, inspiring fantastic creations in the classroom. In addition to making learning fun, I learned a lot about other musical acts (music is art after all) and I am eternally grateful for the way he integrated musical interpretation into original creations.
Pop Quiz, Hotshot: Did you know that this film was originally intended to be a full musical? It’s true! Also, Jack Black came up with all the nicknames for his students on his own, they were not scripted. Jack Black was the intended star of this film even as it was being written by Mike White, as Mike lived next door to Black in an apartment and fondly remembers Black running up and down the halls naked singing the very same tunes that appear in the finished film at full volume. Keep on rockin’, dude.
If you are interested in hearing more from this film, check out our The School of Rock Sound Quotes Collection Page and listen to everything we’ve got, share online, email to friends, whatever your heart desires. It’s free, and it’s rockin’. What’s your favorite quote from the film, or any other Jack Black flick for that matter?