Monday, April 19, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Play

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...


Play


Images from storyblocks.com

The opposite of play is not work--the opposite of play is depression. (Brian Sutton-Smith
I came across that quote a few years ago, and since I am prone to depression, it caught my attention. I always thought if I wasn't playing, then I must be working. But we can find fun in our work, and some forms of play can take a lot of effort (work). They aren't opposites. When it comes to clinical depression, I don't know if that quote is accurate, but I do know that when I'm depressed, playing helps lift my mood.

After recognizing that lack of play "plays" a part in depression, I made a list of things I loved to do as a kid and started incorporating them. For instance, hula hooping is fun exercise! And I try to use versions of hide-and-go-seek in other activities (more on that in tomorrow's topic!).

And when I want to kickstart creativity, I pull out my coloring books, jacks and/or marbles...
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct. (Carl Jung)
Play is our brain's favorite way of learning. (Diane Ackerman)

Still...it's easy to get caught up in everyday-ed-ness and neglect play. I often forget to find the fun in what I'm doing. 

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)

Some movies portraying the need for play... 

Big (1988)
  • Sure, Josh (Tom Hanks) is actually a kid inside an adult's body, so play comes naturally to him, but through his example other adults learn the value of play, too.
  • Based on a true story, a father who's been frequently absent in one son's life and almost completely absent in another's, becomes full-time father to both. Their relationships connect best through play.
Brave (2012)
  • When Merida is a little girl, her mom plays with her, but as she grows up her mother becomes overly strict and concerned about Merida being a proper princess. It's when her mother becomes playful again that their relationship begins to mend. ("My Take" review found here.)
Hook (1991)
  • Grown up Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is too caught up in work and worry. When his children are kidnapped by Hook (Dustin Hoffman) he has to remember how to play so he can become Peter Pan again, capable of going against his nemesis.
  • During the Holocaust, hoping to shield his son from the horrific conditions of prison camp, a father convinces his son that it's all part of a game.
Yes Day (2021)
  • Okay, this film is over the top and ridiculous at times, but it fits with the topic of play. Parents who used to be fun and adventurous have become fuddy-duddy no-sayers, and they accept the challenge to say yes to their kids' requests for one full day.

Do you include play in your life? What is your favorite way to play?


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

16 comments:

  1. So much play with my kids at the moment - they are that age! We love Brave (the Scottish connection!)
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2021/04/19/the-state-trilogy-a-z-guide-p/

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    1. I'm glad you mentioned Brave's Scottish connection, because it triggered my memory... I had forgotten that I'd written a review for the film (I briefly mentioned my Scottish ancestors in the review), so I added that link. :-)

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  2. The movies you picked seems to say playing is for kids or adults who haven't grown up which I supposed it's true. Grownups are more prone to depression because our sense of play is sometimes missing or so thought.

    Play to me is doing something I enjoy but not necessarily fun because sometimes it's just nice to be content in doing something than just playing.

    Have a lovely day.

    My A-Z posts are here.

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    1. I tried to select movies that mostly portrayed adults who need to learn how to play or lighten-up.

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  3. I'm not much of a movie watcher, but I LOVE the idea of play, enjoying work and comparing that to being depressed. Thanks for this.

    Beth
    https://bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com/

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I love reading your posts and I really appreciate your choice of movies. You have created amazing list and I plan to watch all of them when I have time. Playing with my children has been one of the best therapy for me, especially when I was recuperting from cancer. Now the meaning of play has changed to games on mobile or computer but I do take out time for offline games whenever possible. I love winning.. .:)

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    1. I've been following your posts and it's such a blessing that you can play with your kids, huh!

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  5. Thanks for the great movie list! I like to play, and I like to start a training course by a game. It's good for creativity ;)

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    1. Oooo, good idea to use games to start a training course!

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  6. At one of the jobs I had, we always celebrated Halloween. It was fun to see all the adults dress up and maintain character. I always made sure I had a costume for a character who would help us play all day long, and others appreciated it. I thought of the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Teens playing hooky and having a great time doing it. Always makes me smile and feel good!

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    1. That sounds fun to wear costumes at work. Now I'm curious which characters you chose for your costumes!

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    2. One year I dressed up as a gypsy fortune teller. I cleared my desk and had some tarot cards that each person would pick one card from. Based on that card (book in my lap to give me an idea of what it was supposed to mean!) I'd tell their fortune. Fun to do and because I knew everyone, I was almost always spot on!
      Another I really liked was dressing up as an artist. I would draw people's portraits on a large piece of paper on an easel in pastel. Believe me, I am no artist, but I took the portraits to ridiculous levels, and everyone had a good time!

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    3. Very clever and fun! I love that you involved play throughout the day.

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  7. Maybe "The Grown-Ups" with Adam Sandler? Hook was a fun one!

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    1. It's been awhile since I watched Grown Ups so I watched the trailer to refresh my memory. (I miss my memory!!)

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