Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Knowledge

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs... 


Image from storyblocks.com
We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing. (Maria Mitchell)
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul. (Joseph Addison)
At the start of each school year while I was growing up, it was, "Time to return to the Knowledge Mill," according to my dad. 

I still call it that... even when I returned to school at age fifty. Now... if I could just remember all the things I've learned over the years!!

  • A knowledge of words and their origins helps Akeela (Keke Palmer) compete in spelling bees.
  • Most people believe her son is purposely making tics and noises to be disruptive or rebellious, but his mother (played by Patricia Heaton) wonders what if Brad is telling the truth... what if he really cannot control it... so she researches information regarding his symptoms and learns he has Tourette's syndrome. That knowledge is a game changer. (Based on a true story.)
  • Another true story of parents arming themselves with knowledge. When they learn their son has a fatal disease "so rare nobody is working on a cure," they pour through countless medical journals and study biochemistry in such depth that they gain knowledge on how to treat their son, and share what they've learned with doctors and other parents whose children have the disease. 
  • Learning how to communicate changes Helen Keller's life.
  • In order to rise above poverty, a man aims for a career as a stockbroker, but first he must learn how to be one. (Based on a true story.)
  • A girl in Uganda learns to play chess, and her knowledge and skill at the game help her make changes in her life. (Based on a true story.)
  • Okay, this one isn't about humans, but it does involve learning something new. In my favorite scene of the movie, a fluffy Pomeranian learns how to act like a cat. She learns traits like... no fetching... land on her feet... rub her tail in her owner's face... walk on the computer keyboard... knock coffee onto the computer. (Click here for that fun scene, click here for my review.)

What movies come to mind when you consider knowledge and learning?

(Note: The movies listed might not be completely family-friendly. See my "Movie Content" information on the blog's sidebar.)

Monday, April 12, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Joy

ThemeMovies reflect human needs... 


Image from storyblocks.com

Dictionaries define joy as a feeling of pleasure and happiness. But joy is much more than that. Feelings of pleasure and happiness are fleeting, whereas joy is (or can be) long-lasting. When I think of times I've wept with joy, it's a much deeper, more spiritual condition than happiness. 
Joy is that holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. (Hellen Keller)

Joy is the serious business of heaven. (C.S. Lewis)

I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters. (Oprah Winfrey)

We can find joy even when life is bumpy, in fact, sometimes we need the bumpy times to recognize joy (as mentioned in my post: Gratitude). 

  • As much as George Banks (Steve Martin) struggles with his daughter's engagement, he experiences joy in parenthood.
Inside Out (2015)
  • Joy (Amy Poehler, voice) is represented as the main emotion and strives to keep the other emotions in balance.

Beautiful music touches my soul, so it's not surprising that these films make my heart soar with joy...

  • In Australia, a young man's father wants him to follow in the sheep-ranching business, but his heart yearns to compose music. During a mandatory community service, he utlizes prison inmates and make-shift instruments to form a band and choir. Their performance fills me with joy! (That scene found on youtube, here.)
  • I love almost every song in this musical!
  • A man dreams of being a composer, but his opus gets put on the back burner while he spends years, time, and energy teaching high school music classes. When he is ready to retire, many of the students he taught over the years get together and perform the opus he had been working on. It's another musical finale that makes my heart sing! (Found on youtube, here.)
I follow The Joyspotters Society on Facebook. I asked the group for recommendations for movies with joyful characters or movies that bring them joy, expecting maybe five or six movie suggestions, but the number of responses blew me away! 

I gleaned almost 80 movie titles from their comments. That's too wonderful to keep to myself, so I made a Google Doc with their recommendations to share. You can find it here.

What movies invite joy for you?

(Note: The movies listed might not be completely family-friendly. See my "Movie Content" information on the blog's sidebar.)

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Integrity

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Image from storyblocks.com

Yes, integrity is on the list of universal human needs. 
Integrity means that you are the same in public as you are in private. (Joyce Meyer)
When I was a young single gal applying to rent an apartment, the landlord was hesitant to rent it to me because he'd had a bad experience with other renters my age. But, he looked over my completed application and when he saw my name, it turned out he knew my father. The man told me, "He is a man of integrity and I know he would raise you the same. The apartment is yours." 

You better believe I always paid the rent promptly and took care of the property. I didn't want to reflect poorly on his view of my dad!

Here are some movies reflecting integrity, and some reflecting the lack of it...

Big Eyes (2014)
  • A man takes credit for his wife's paintings. (Based on a true story.)
  • An Olympic athlete, a devout Christian, stays true to his beliefs and refuses to race on a Sunday. (Based on a true story.)
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
  • A young man's religious convictions keep him from carrying a rifle into combat, and despite the bullying and abuse he takes from other soldiers, he stands for what he believes is right. (Based on a true story.) (I used this film in a post about loving your enemies, found here.)
  • After dining in a cafe, a man realizes he doesn't have enough money to tip the waitress, so he reveals a lottery ticket and promises that if he wins, he will split the money with her. Will he keep that promise?
  • During a golf competition, a man's ball moves ever so slightly as he removes a twig next to it. He is determined to add a penalty stroke, even when others encourage him to ignore it.
  • Although Edward (Hugh Grant) is deeply attracted to Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson), he made an engagement promise to another, years prior, and feels duty-bound to follow through with that commitment.
The Words (2012)
  • A writer steals another man's work and it comes with a steep price.

What movies come to your mind regarding integrity?

(Note: The movies listed might not be completely family-friendly. See my "Movie Content" information on the blog's sidebar.)

Friday, April 9, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Humor

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Images from storyblocks.com

Laughter is universal. Sure, what's funny to some might not be funny to others, but we all need a sense of humor. I can't count how many times humor has diffused tension or arguments in our home, or how many times humor pulled me out of a deep-blue funk. 
A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road. (Henry Ward Beecher)

I think the scariest person in the world is the person with no sense of humor. (Michael J. Fox)
And this one tickles me:
God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. (Garrison Kellor)
Some of my fondest times of prayer have been when He's helped me see something amusing about a situation, and I sensed Him laughing with me. 

Last year after surgery, when friends asked, "Is there anything I can do to help?" I responded, "Share funny stories."

There are abundant comedy films available, but I wanted to showcase movie characters who put their sense of humor to good use, or find value in laughter.

  • In a fun scene, the scout troop wants to surprise their scoutmaster (Fred MacMurray) with a clubhouse they built out of junk and scrap lumber, but before he enters, it completely collapses. There's an awkward moment... and then... he starts to laugh, the embarrassed boys relax and join in the laughter, too. (A clip of the scene found here.)
  • Based on a true story of a doctor who uses humor to treat patients. 
  • Comedian Mike Birbiglia finds the humor in the way his body reacts to stress (sleepwalking), and incorporates it into his standup routine.
The Stooge (1951)
  • Bill Miller's (Dean Martin) musical vaudeville act falls flat until he discovers a comic foil, Theodore "Ted" Rogers (Jerry Lewis). He needs that humor to add life to his performances.
  • Tired of directing comedy films, John Sullivan (Joel McCrea) wants to direct a serious movie about the poor. Problem is, he doesn't know what it's like to be penniless, so he tries to live like a hobo to gain experience. He definitely gains empathy for the poor, but along the way he gains a better understanding of the importance of humor.

What tickles your funny bone? Do you use humor to diffuse tension? Has something funny happened to you lately?

(Note: The movies listed might not be completely family-friendly. See my "Movie Content" information on the blog's sidebar.)