Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Sleep

In April I participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and followed a theme of movies reflecting human needs. I had this post ready for the letter 'S' but went a different direction (Storytelling) and left this one in my drafts. 

Last week, though, sleep was a major problem for me... I had difficulty both in falling asleep and staying asleep. It made me think of this post, so I'm sharing it now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...

Sleep

Image from storyblocks.com

There are multiple human needs that begin with the letter S... safety and security, solitude (at times), self-confidence, self-worth, support, shelter, sharing... and yet I chose Sleep. We all need it. Some may need more than others, but sleep is vital.
Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health. When sleep is deficient, there is sickness and disease. And when sleep is abundant, there is vitality and health. (Matthew Walker, Sleep Diplomat)
I've heard some say, "I'll sleep when I'm dead!" And I want to add, "Yes, and without sleep, you'll be there soon."
Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking. (Clifton Fadiman)
In my younger years, I suffered with insomnia but didn't realize it. I thought taking hours to fall asleep was normal. Wasn't everyone like that? Well, no, I later learned, some people actually say good-night and then fall asleep. Just like that. I'm one of those now.

But... I've developed a different problem... staying asleep. If something wakes me up in the middle of the night (hearing a sound, too hot, too cold, need the bathroom) it's almost guaranteed I will not be able to go back to sleep.

So, yeah, I'm a bit obsessed with getting a good night's rest. 

Sadly, I don't have much of a list for movies that reflect the need for sleep. I Googled "movies about sleep" and most of the results were ones I haven't seen because they are the types of movies that would keep me awake at night!

But here are some relaxing films with "sleep" in the title...




And for a bonus, here's a serene sleep-aid... a storybook "Jungle Night" by Sandra Boynton (I love her work!) put to video and accompanied with Yo-Yo Ma. 



And now I feel the need for a nap.

Do you have trouble sleeping? What movies come to mind while reading this?

Friday, August 6, 2021

Movie-themed puns.

Friday: Comic Relief

Movies and popcorn go butter together.

As I mentioned during the 2020 A to Z Challenge with my theme Humor in Film--what makes me laugh, I love a play on words (see the post: Wordplay).

I need a good laugh today, so I'm sharing some movie-themed puns I found:

  • What do you call security guards working outside Samsung shops?
    • Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • How did Reese eat her ice cream?
    • Witherspoon.
  • They want to open a floating cinema in Paris with drive-in boats. 
    • I think that's in Seine.
  • A Plain Bun and a Vanilla Cream Bun goes to the cinema. During the sad movie, the Vanilla Cream Bun cried while the Plain Bun did not... Why?
    • 'Cause Vanilla Cream Buns have fillings.
  • In Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991) Cogsworth (voice of David Ogden Stiers) says...
    • If it's not Baroque don't fix it.
And for a grand finale to this post of puns, I love this dialogue from The Lion King (1994)...
  • Zazu (voice of Rowan Atkinson) gives the morning report...
    • Well... the buzz with the bees is that the leopards are in a bit of a spot. And the baboons are going ape over this. Of course, the giraffes are acting like they're above it all... The tick birds are pecking on the elephants. I told the elephants to forget it, but they can't. The cheetahs are hard up, but I always say, cheetahs never prosper...
Thanks for humoring me. 

I'd love if you'd share puns in the comments!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Take 43: Collateral Beauty

Tuesday:  My "take" on a film.

Collateral Beauty (2016)



We are all connected.


One of my sisters died in May, and ever since her death it seems like everything I select to read, watch, or listen to, includes something about grief. A flash-flood of tears nearly washed me off the highway when R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" came on the radio while driving.

I'm not consciously selecting things with that topic, but apparently my subconscious knows I need it--so, I shouldn't be surprised when a movie I placed on the Netflix "My List" awhile back, and just recently decided to watch, turned out to be about...grief, of course.

On the film's website, Warner Bros. describes: "When a successful New York ad executive suffers a personal tragedy and retreats from life, his friends devise a drastic plan to reach him before he loses everything. ...  [T]his thought-provoking drama explores how even the deepest tragedy can reveal moments of beauty."

In one of the scenes, a woman (Naomie Harris) who facilitates grief therapy meetings shares:
MADELINE
...something started to happen to me, you know. I would be walking or on the subway, whatever, and I would just burst into tears. But these weren't Olivia tears. These were tears born from something else, from this... from this kind of profound connection to everything. And I realized it was the collateral beauty.

HOWARD (Will Smith)
There's no such thing as collateral beauty.

MADELINE
There is Howard. There really is. It'll never bring her back. And it will never ever make it okay. But I promise you, it's there.
What a beautiful movie! Intriguing and original. I love the concept of collateral beauty--blessed moments accompanying or following painful events--and as I reflect on the heart-breaking days spent next to my sister's deathbed, I recognize many of those beautiful moments.

I originally added the movie to My List because I figured with such big names in the cast (e.g. Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Kiera Knightley) it ought to be good, right? I've seen most of Will Smith's films, so I'm not sure how I missed this one when it was released, but I certainly needed to see it now.

Warner Bros. Trailer: Collateral Beauty

Notes on content:
  • No sex or nudity, but there are some references to adultery.
  • One F-word, and infrequent mild swearing.
  • Some anger portrayed, but no violence.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Movies filmed solely in these states.

I've been on several road trips in the past couple months, traveling mostly on secondary roads. The landscapes varied greatly... mountains, gorges, valleys, red rocks, prairies, desert...

Blue Mesa, Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

Moseying through the ever-changing scenery, I couldn't help but think of the lyrics to America the Beautiful...

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

Of course I spotted a lot of areas that seemed ideal for film locations! And since it's time to celebrate this country's Independence Day, I decided to re-publish a post from four years ago.

******************************************

(originally posted on July 4, 2017)

The 50 United States of Filming

In honor of Independence Day, I created a list of movies filmed in each state. I have visited all 50 of the United States and each one has its own beauty and charm... and filming locations.

Except where noted, these movies were filmed entirely in that particular state according to IMDb (I linked each title to the listed filming locations).

So if you see these films, know that the scenery really is from the state it was filmed in. For instance, if you watch Runaway Bride, all locations are in Maryland (think that's NYC? Nope, it's Baltimore posing). Whereas if you watch Dances with Wolves, you'll see lots of South Dakota, but also Nebraska, Wyoming, and Kansas (thus the movie did not make this list).

As much as possible,  I selected feature-length narrative films that showed in theaters rather than documentaries and small independent flicks.

And of course, this is not perfect or all-incluseive. Sometimes I found copious films to choose from so I limited the selection to three or four, and other times it seemed like scraping the bottom of the barrel to find one or two (a good indication those particular states don't offer decent film incentives).

(NOTE: Many of these movies contain content I would not recommend.)


Alabama:

Alaska:

Arizona:  

(Popular state for filming!)

Arkansas:

California

(No surprise... there are pages and pages of movies filmed exclusively in California, so I selected some with plots linked to the movie industry.)

Colorado:

Connecticut:

Delaware

(This state only recently formed a film commission, so maybe we'll see more films there in the future.)

Florida:

Georgia:

Hawaii:

Idaho:

Illinois:

Indiana:

Iowa:

Kansas:

Louisiana:

Maine:

Maryland:

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

Mississippi:

Missouri:

Montana:

Nebraska:

Nevada:

New Hampshire:

New Jersey:

New Mexico:

New York

(Many, many movies filmed in New York, so I selected three with themes of Broadway.)

North Carolina:

North Dakota

Ohio:

Oklahoma:

Oregon: 

(Popular state for filming with many filmed exclusively in Oregon.)

Pennsylvania:

Rhode Island:

South Carolina:

South Dakota:

Tennessee:

Texas:

Utah:

Vermont:

Virginia:

Washington:

West Virginia:

Wisconsin:

Wyoming:


Well? Did the list hold any surprises for you?


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Take 42: Minari

 Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

Minari (2020)



"This is the movie we need right now." ~Los Angeles Times


Local theaters re-opened after a too-long pandemic shutdown and what better way for me to celebrate than to go see a movie written and directed by an alumnus, Lee Isaac Chung!

He graduated from the university three years before I stepped onto campus, but was already making a name for himself, and I met him when he returned to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award. What I remember most about our conversation was his kindness and encouragement.

I was over-the-moon excited when his recent film was nominated for six academy awards!!

It's a semi-autobiographical film portraying a Korean-American family that moves to a farm in Arkansas. Although the family has been in America for a while, they had been living in an urban area in California and now struggle to adjust to an almost isolated rural life.

At the beginning of the film, as the family drives on a highway past country landscapes, I recalled similar scenes viewed from my own family's station wagon during our many moves, and felt immediately drawn into the story. 

Minari is well-directed, well-shot, and has a superb cast. The characters are sometimes framed in close-ups, creating an intimate connection, and when the film ended I felt like I was walking away from loved ones.

Yuh-Jung Youn won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for this film. She portrays Soonja, the grandmother... a wonderful character. She's not like a so-called "real" grandma, according to her grandson David (Alan S. Kim). He insists she smells like Korea, and tells her...
DAVID 
Grandma, you're not a real grandma. 

SOONJA
What is a real grandma?

DAVID
They bake cookies! They don't swear! They don't wear men's underwear!
In another scene, the grandmother plants minari (sometimes known as Korean watercress) near a stream and describes to David...
SOONJA
Minari is truly the best. It grows anywhere, like weeds. So anyone can pick and eat it. Rich or poor, anyone can enjoy it and be healthy. Minari can be put in kimchi, put in stew, put in soup. It can be medicine if you are sick. Minari is wonderful, wonderful!
The story moves at a slow but steady and purposeful pace with conflict arising from farming, marital, familial, cultural, health issues--life!--and, like the plant, the family needs to be hardy and resilient

Echoing Soonja's words, Minari is wonderful, wonderful!

Trailer


Notes on content:
  • No sex or nudity.
  • No violence, but some injury-related blood is shown.
  • Infrequent mild profanity. No f-words, but a teen flashes a middle finger at an adult. An anatomical-correct word is used regarding a body part, as well as a slang term.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Reflecting on the 2021 A to Z Challenge


Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge


When I selected this year's theme--Movies reflect human needs--I kicked it into high gear and started binging on films... watching more than 50 in the six weeks prior to April. Some were new to me and some I re-watched to see if they fit certain topics. (Not all made the cut.)

I also went overboard with referencing films in my posts. I initially planned to include up to five movie suggestions each day, but most posts exceeded that, in fact, for the letter L (Love) I suggested 23 films! It's like I turned on a movie reference fire-hose and blasted away.

Some statistics for this year's April posts:
  • Number of movies I referenced in total during the challenge: 185
  • Of those 185, the number of movies I referenced for the first time on this blog: 96
  • Of the 50+ movies I watched in preparation for the challenge, 43 were from the public library (free!).
  • I forgot to keep track of how many I watched on streaming channels.
  • Number of movies I gleaned from reader comments: 79
    • (Readers mentioned more than 79 movies, but I made note of 44 I haven't seen, and 35 I want to see again.)

This was my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge and yet I still fell short of my goals. I did better at some things, and not so much in others. 

My biggest disappointment was having very little time to visit blogs. 

Here are the ones I visited consistently (although, sometimes I didn't leave a comment):

I didn't catch all the A to Z posts on the following blogs, but hope to return to read the ones I missed:

A big shout-out goes to Sue! We met through the A to Z Challenge several years ago and even though she hasn't participated the past couple years, she's continued to follow and comment on my posts. (She's also a screenwriter and loves movies. Her blog: Suzanne Blazier: A Movie for Every Mood.)

If you click on the Movies Referenced tab at the top of the page (or click here), you will find a tidy table I created listing all the movies I've referenced on this blog over the years including links to the posts where it's mentioned. 

There's also a page with the links to all my A to Z posts (the titles, linked to the post) found through a tab above, or click here.

I set a goal to be more consistent with writing My "Take" reviews (also found through a tab at the top of the page)... I already have one scheduled to post on Tuesday (May 11). I hope you'll check it out!


Friday, April 30, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Zone...get out of it!

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Zone...get out of it!


Image from storyblocks.com

There is no growth in the comfort zone; there is no comfort in the growth zone. (*) 

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
We need to get out of our comfort zone and stretch our abilities. Transformation typically requires getting out of our zone.

So what holds us back? Very often it's fear -- fear of the unknown, fear of failure (or fear of success!), perhaps even being afraid of the effort it will take (similar to what might keep us from saying yes to opportunities). 

During Freshman orientation at the University of Utah, I followed a group of youngsters to the Fine Arts building. At 50 years of age, I was what they termed a "non-traditional" student, and I was waaay out of my comfort zone. 

As we walked, I saw a path that I was fairly certain led to the lot where my car was parked. It seemed like every ounce of my being screamed out to leave and go back home and knit socks (which I've never done, but it seemed more doable than going back to school!).

I wish I'd had a fantastic soundtrack playing in that moment...like Walter Mitty (more on that below)...when I made the conscious decision to turn away from the escape route and continue to my degree.
You are your only border -- throw yourself over it! (Hafiz, Persian poet)
Perhaps it's another form of a comfort zone, but it's nice to be able to choose when and where and how we stretch our boundaries. Sometimes, though, life has a way of kicking us out of our zone, but as discussed in Agency, we can choose to grow from the experience, or not.

Movies reflecting the need (although sometimes forced) to get out of the comfort zone...

  • In order to find his son, this serious clownfish must move beyond his worry-wart boundaries.
  • Due to his tendency to stutter, King George VI of England is not comfortable with public speaking, but he faces the challenge.
Klaus (2019)
  • A freeloading young man gets pushed out of his cushy environment when his father sends him to an inhospitable, frozen, island.
  • A timid romance writer is forced into dangerous situations in order to help her sister who's held hostage.
  • I absolutely love the scene where Walter (Ben Stiller), with the song Ground Control to Major Tom playing in his imagination, leaps out of his comfort zone and into a helicopter about to fly into a possible storm with an intoxicated pilot! My heart soars every time I watch that scene. (Found here.)
Selma (2014)
  • In order to bring about change, and to secure equal voting rights, a whole lot of people leave their comfort zone and join Martin Luther King, Jr. in a march from Selma, Alabama to the state's capital in Montgomery.
Uncle Buck (1989)
  • Watching his nieces and nephew and staying in the suburbs is not this bachelor's forte, but he agrees to do it anyway, to help his brother.
  • An "obsessive-compulsive neurotic" man willingly takes baby steps to stretch his boundaries.

What movie would you add? Do you find ways to stretch beyond your comfort zone? Have you experienced times when circumstances forced you out of your zone? (Did you grow from it?)


 *An online search shows this quote attributed to several people, so I'm not sure who originally said it.

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

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Yes to opportunities.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Yes to opportunities.


Image from storyblocks.com

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. (Thomas Edison)
Hoooboy, I can relate to that. I've bemoaned opportunities lost, not usually because they looked like work, though, but because they looked like more work. I routinely feel overwhelmed because I allow myself to get bogged down in tasks, so, when opportunity knocks, I'm usually too tired to open the door.

I felt chagrin while watching The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). Based on a true story, Will Smith portrays  Chris Gardner, a man who despite being a single father, homeless, and financially struggling, accepts an offer for an unpaid internship that might lead to his dream job. Not convenient--at all!!--and a whole lot of work with no guarantee for the desired outcome. I felt painfully aware of my shortcomings as I watched him grab opportunity by the overall straps and run!

The times I managed to say yes to interesting ventures, it was after I reminded myself that opportunity is rarely convenient and that if I select only convenient opportunities, I will miss out on a lot. (I wrote about one such opportunity here, and shared one of the videos here and the other here.)

We need to say yes to life. Not yes to every request or invitation, but embrace the opportunities that pull at us, lights a spark within, or lines-up with our purpose.

In each of these films, the main character says yes to opportunity...

Last Holiday (2006)
Soul (2020)
Yes Man (2008)


How about you? Have you accepted opportunities? Have you missed some chances because it looked like work, or was inconvenient, or maybe didn't recognize it as an opportunity at the time? 


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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Xenodochy - kindness

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Xenodochy - kindness


Image from storyblocks.com


According to one definition (found here) xenodochy is "an attitude of kindness to strangers." 
We scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested. (Martin Seligman)

Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world. (Alison Malee)
Being friendly to strangers is certainly an act of kindness, and that made me think of something I posted in 2017. I'm re-posting part of it here:

Friendly encounters with strangers lift my spirits. Such as when a woman in Italy showed me how to work the laundromat washer, and a gentleman who observed me gazing at a scenic landscape, stood beside me and expressed, "Bellissimo. Bellissimo."

I am grateful for friendly tall grocery shoppers who hand me items from the top shelf. And for the woman on the hospital elevator who held the door for me, suspecting, in my distraught state, I had gotten off on the wrong floor. She was right. And kind.

So, I feel a tender spot for friendly movie characters who reach out to strangers in their time of need. Often, their kindness has far reaching effects like when little Jenny offers Forrest a seat next to her on the school bus (Forrest Gump1994), or when Sister Husband (Stockard Channing) invites Novalee (Natalie Portman), a teenager with a newborn, to stay with her (Where the Heart Is, 2000).

But not all friendliness or kindness are the grand acts. Sometimes there's a friendly character in a minor role, like Marshall (Ossie Davis), a chauffeur who helps Joe (Tom Hanks) select clothes (Joe Versus the Volcano, 1990), or Sara's (Eva Mendes) nice boss, Max (Adam Arkin) in Hitch (2005).

Let's not forget the background extras, either... the waitress, cab driver, doorman, passenger on the train, pedestrian. Since the camera's focus is on the main action, it's easy to overlook what's going on around the main characters.
 

(I've been an "extra" in several movies... there are lots of friendly and kind acts going on in the background that usually go unnoticed while watching the film.)

When I consider movies reflecting kindness, these come to mind:

Which movie(s) would you add? Can you recall a time you were treated kindly by a stranger? 


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

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Wonder--curiosity

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Wonder -- curiosity


Image from storyblocks.com

One day, during my teen years, as I sat in my sister's salon chair while she trimmed my hair, I wondered aloud, "I wonder what I'd look like with bangs." And suddenly--snip, snip, snip--I didn't need to imagine it. Be careful what you wonder aloud! (I looked good, by the way.)

But seriously, wondering--being curious, is a human need.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. (Albert Einstein)
Asking questions from a place of curious wondering is quite beneficial. Questions can kickstart creative ideas and bring solutions. How does this work? Is there a pattern or a connection here? 

  • While looking at a bicycle headlight connected to a dynamo, a young teenager in Malawi wonders how the mechanism works, and that curiosity helps him figure out a way to save his village from famine. (Based on a true story.)
Joy  (2015)
  • Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) cuts her hands while wringing out a mop used to clean up a spill with broken glass. She wonders about a solution, and it leads to her first major invention. (Based on a true story.) (My review found here.)

We need curiosity for more than inventions, though. Looking at ourselves and others through a lens of curiosity can move us beyond being judgmental. I wonder why I have that tendency? I wonder... what's that person's story?
Replace judgment with curiosity. (Lynn Nottage)
Like Stars on Earth (Taare Zameen Par) (2007)
  • A teacher approaches a "problem" child through curiosity, rather than with the harsh assessment of others, and wonders about his background--family, past school performance, behavior patterns--and discovers the root of the boy's learning difficulties.

Wondering... especially asking what if... can play a role in Storytelling.

That's what started the story of Braveheart (1995) as its screenwriter, Randall Wallace, stood outside the castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, looking at a statue of a man who bore the same last name -- William Wallace. Nearby was a statue of Robert the Bruce. He writes, "I began instantly to wonder, What if there was something in the life and death of William Wallace that had the power to transform Robert the Bruce from a plotting, cowardly betrayer to the greatest king in his country's history?" (*Citation below)

When I posted about Quest, Frédérique (find her blog here) commented that a quest is like curiosity to her, curiosity for what is around us. I hadn't thought of that... how curiosity can be linked to a quest. 

And that made me think... it was Randall Wallace's curiosity about his forefathers that took him to Scotland in the first place. 

I went on a similar quest in 2019, curious to see if I could flesh out a story about a specific Scottish ancestor... but after an unnerving experience and lots of wondering--What just happened? How does that connect? Is this significant?--the story I was chasing led me down an unexpected path. (I posted about that journey here.)


What do you wonder about? Has curiosity sent you on a quest? Do you approach problems from an angle of curiosity?



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



Monday, April 26, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Vulnerability

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Vulnerability


Image from storyblocks.com

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. (Brené Brown)
I had a different topic selected for V, but one night I repeatedly dreamed that I needed to post about vulnerability.

Perhaps that dream and topic is aimed specifically at me. I've built plenty of walls over the years, protecting myself, making sure I wouldn't be vulnerable. But, when I block myself from feeling negative emotions, I block positive emotions, too.

I've come to see it as vulnerability -- an ability, an asset -- and that helps me remember that even though being vulnerable opens myself up to being wounded, the ability to feel that pain is important.
Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure. (Bob Marley)
When I thought about it, I realized vulnerability is entwined through all the human needs I've covered so far...

When considering movies reflecting vulnerability, these scenes came to mind...

  • When the "Dragon Lady" (Meryl Streep) without make-up and evidently crying, lets her guard down and discusses her upcoming divorce. (Click here for that scene.)
  • The students open up and share about their lives and horrific experiences. (Click here for the scene.)
Notting Hill  (1999) 
  • Trying to be invulnerable, William (Hugh Grant) wants to protect himself from further hurt, and Anna (Julia Roberts) vulnerably expresses, "... don't forget... I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." (Click here for the scene.)
  • Socrates (Nick Nolte) tells Dan (Scott Mechlowicz), "A warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He's about absolute vulnerability. That is the only true courage."
Twins (1988)
  • Vincent (Danny DeVito) felt abandoned and unwanted for most of his life, so when he finally meets his birthmother, his expression of apprehensive hopefulness permeates the vulnerable moment.  (Click here for the scene.)

Do you recall or have a favorite movie scene portraying vulnerability? What are your thoughts about vulnerability weaving through our human needs? Were you surprised by this, too?


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

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Uniqueness

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Uniqueness


Image from storyblocks.com

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. (Margaret Mead)

We are meant to be different. When we can accept this, then there is no competition and no comparison. To try to be like another is to shrivel our soul. (Louise Hay

We are all unique without even trying... we were born that way. So, if we are already unique, how does this fit with human needs? 

Well, first of all, because we need to accept ourselves, accept our own uniqueness... size, shape, likes, dislikes, ideas, talents...

I think of Runaway Bride (1999) and how Maggie (Julia Roberts) loses herself in relationships and needs to get in touch with her own preferences, her own tastes. She has to get to know herself. 

John Nash (Russell Crowe) has to accept his thought processes and learn how to work with them in A Beautiful Mind (2001). (Based on a true story.)

Self-acceptance can be tough enough without others ridiculing, judging, rejecting... I think of how some of the characters in the following films struggle to find acceptance.
Which brings me to the second point... it's easy to forget that we need the uniqueness of others.  We can learn something from everyone we meet, no matter our physical, emotional, mental, cultural, social differences. 

There have been times when I've associated with people so dissimilar from me--coworkers, committee members, church congregants--that I wondered how we could possibly get along, and wondered why we were thrown together in whatever situation. And then they shared their thoughts and suggestions and I realize... This! This is why! There's no way I would have come up with the solutions or ideas they did since my thoughts travel a different path.

Great leaders surround themselves with people of differing views. Business and sports teams need a variety of skills. Moneyball (2011) is a wonderful example of someone thinking differently and taking a unique approach. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) decides to use statistical data analysis to select players for the Oakland A's, selecting some who might have been considered no-name misfits.

Movies featuring crews of crooks and criminals give examples of recognizing the need for a variety of people with particular skillsets! (That's a bit unnerving! 😄)
And where would spies be without different thinkers?  They need techie agents...
I watch a variety of movie genres, and movies from different countries or cultures, because they expand my mind and my view, but I can't think of, nor have I seen, all movies that fit all topics, that's why I love when you share your thoughts and suggestions, too!

Here are a bunch of questions/prompts to get you started, if needed:
  • What movies come to your mind when you consider uniqueness? 
  • Have you seen a movie recently with a character struggling with self-acceptance, or accepting the difference of others?
  • Do you enjoy avant-garde movies? (experimental, unusual or unique)
  • The Oscars will be presented tomorrow. Do you watch the Academy Awards? Have you seen any of the 2021 nominated movies? (You can find the nominees here.)
  • Have you ever seen a movie character and thought, "Hey, that's me!"
  • Have you ever been in or wanted to be in a movie? 
  • If you could be inserted into any movie scene, which one would you choose?
  • What question/prompt do you wish I would have included?

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