The Dog Ate My Homework
2023.09.07 - 12.16
Full of good intentions, Charlie sits down at the kitchen table to get started on her homework, eager to fill the blank document that she’s opened on her computer screen. With a few hot dogs heating up in a saucepan, she’s ready to tackle that blinking cursor at the top of the page. But time passes and inspiration is lacking, so she innocently clicks on a recipe website. . . only to find herself caught up in a never-ending vortex of online content, each page more absurd than the last, each insidiously consuming her attention.
Filmmaker Alexandra Lemay was commissioned to create this stop-motion short film for young audiences. Exploring the troubles Charlie has concentrating, The Dog Ate My Homework will be the first in VOX’s new program of films for young people, presented in a home cinema setting designed especially for children. This playful and humorous film, full of references to pop culture, memes and the aesthetics of digital interfaces, is a jumping-off point to get young people to think about the length of their screen time and the ways they use online content. While it is not meant to be a moralizing lecture on the phenomenon–which affects adults as much as children–the film aims to educate young audiences on the workings of the algorithms behind the sophisticated “recommender systems” that feed on our online interactions and command our attention.
An interview with the filmmaker and two other animated films created by her complete the program, which is accessible at all times during VOX’s regular exhibition hours.
A learning toolkit for teachers and students
VOX invites you to examine the question of screen addiction through the filmmaker’s whimsical world. To accompany an in-class screening of the film, a series of educational activities allows teachers to open up a space for conversation with their students about the many screens around us that insidiously capture our attention.
Designed especially for children aged 6 to 12, the toolkit contains activity backgrounders, a video vignette on Alexandra Lemay’s work, and a workshop to introduce students to the workings of recommender algorithms, which feed on our clicks and Likes to suggest even more content for us to consume. More information
This project was made possible with the financial support of the Gouvernement du Québec.