School of Rock

School of Rock is on Netflix only ’til November 30th. I took advantage of this opportunity and was pleasantly surprised. I haven’t seen the movie in years. Seeing it now through the lens of writing this blog and having read The Artist’s Way made me appreciate it so much more. It contains the message that art can change the world. Art has meaning. Art is a worthwhile pursuit. Here are two scenes that illustrate that message well.

Scene #1 “The Man”

Dewey Finn, the teacher played by Jack Black, truly believes that art – rock music – can send a message to society and make a difference. His passion in this monologue doesn’t resonate with the kids just yet, but that will come later in the movie.

“Give up, just quit, because in this life, you can’t win. Yeah, you can try, but in the end you’re just gonna lose, big time, because the world is run by the Man.”


“The Man. Oh, you don’t know the Man? He’s everywhere. In the White House, down the hall… Ms. Mullins, she’s the Man. And the Man ruined the ozone, and he’s burning down the Amazon, and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a chlorine tank! Okay? And there used to be a way to stick it to the Man, it was called rock ‘n roll. But guess what? Oh no. The Man ruined that, too, with a little thing called MTV! So don’t waste your time trying to make anything cool, or pure, or awesome, ’cause the Man is just gonna call you a fat washed up loser and crush your soul. So do yourselves a favor and just GIVE UP!”

School of Rock

Scene #2 Zach’s Song

This is the culmination of Dewey’s teachings to the kids, apart from the grand finale. Zach, who was being bullied by his father earlier in the film, now has the skill to channel his emotions into song. If that isn’t a gratifying outcome then I don’t know what is.

Other things

-Adam Pascal (aka Roger from Rent) has a fun, small role. I saw him perform on stage as Shakespeare in Something Rotten.

-Pretty interesting to hear how School of Rock came together in this Jack Black interview. It was a silly kids film, but director Richard Linklater gave it an artsy depth.

-In that same interview they talked about making the film believable, but there are so many parts where I thought, “he could not have gotten away with this!” Doesn’t make it any less fun to watch.

Photo by Steven Aguilar

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