Monday, June 8, 2015

Film as Literature: Alien Film List

If an alien asked you to compile a list of films that represent the breadth and depth of human experience, which movies would you include? Why would you select those movies?



Objective: Students will compose an annotated list (10+) of landmark films. Students should include at least one film from our Film as Literature offerings.

Consider: How does each film selection reflect an essential aspect of the human experience? How can you justify each selection? What thematic elements reinforce their value? Your annotations should defend your selection and articulate the themes and nuances that make your film so valuable.


Assessment: You will submit your annotated list as a blog comment to this post. Your teacher will focus on how you defend and articulate your selections and the depth of your reasoning. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Movies to See
1. Star Wars – These films enhance the human experience and show the alien how we view what aliens are and how we view space and aliens. These movies were extremely well written with incredibly memorable characters. The thematic elements of the characters and the diversity of all the planets make this an obvious choice for the alien to watch.
2. Back to the Future – This film would be a good one for the alien to watch because it displays how us humans imagine the near future being. The predictions are nothing more than fantasy since there are no flying skateboards in 2015, but it will give the alien an idea of how we think. Thematic elements that make this movie memorable for him would be the future technology that still looks outdated.
3. The Sound of Music – The Sound of Music would be a good film for the alien to watch. With all its awards it has earned it is no question that it is a good film. The music and writing made a very memorable story. The slow development of love between the two characters and the action of tricking the Nazis to escape Austria and into Switzerland make this movie have a little bit of everything for the aliens viewing pleasures.
4. Good Will Hunting – Good Will Hunting is a good movie for the alien to watch. It shows a story of a brilliant man who has an incredible gift of smartness. All his life he was raised in a bad part of town with a past of people leaving him. This creates a fear of not wanting to embrace who he is and that everything that happened to him in the past isn’t his fault. The acting in the movie was really good along with an original story. The alien would like watching this one.
5. Life is Beautiful – This movie shows a father doing all he can to protect his kid. It shows how some people who really care about their kids will act to do anything for them. This movie would give an opposite view on fathers as Will the previous movie that the alien watched, Good Will Hunting, didn’t have a father figure. The sudden twist from a normal life to life in a Nazi camp would be an interesting change to show the alien.
6. Avatar – Avatar would be a good movie to show the alien how far technology had come. The movie took about ten years to make and the CGI is really lifelike. The story of a soldier who was made to infiltrate the navi but ended up trying to save them is cool. The mixture of real acting and CGI is cool and a nice choice for the alien because all the things on the planet are aliens as well.
7. Gandhi – Gandhi is a good movie for the alien to see because it is a prime example of peaceful protest and change. The movie follows the life of Gandhi all the way to his death and shows the discrimination of the Hindus from the Europeans. If the alien was hostile and wanted to take over the worlds, it might influence him to peacefully take us over.
8. E.T. – E.T. would be a good one to show because it will show the alien that he can be accepted in society. It will give him an idea of another view humans have on aliens. This will increase the enjoyment of the human experience because it is a nice alien story and will make him more comfortable.
9. Schindler’s List – This holocaust movie would be good to show because it is well directed and shows how even the enemy can be a good person. The entire movie is in black and white except for this one girl in red. The main character Oskar Schindler sells all he has for the Jews the story is very touching. The historical factors and the sadness are reasons this movie would be shown to the alien.
10. Saving Private Ryan – This World War II movie is very historic. It would be good to show the alien a bit about our history and which countries were more powerful. The movie is very accurate to the actual war and the D-Day invasion and the alien would be intrigued.
-Ryan Wheeler

Anonymous said...

Top ten list
 Good Will Hunting- It is a story about struggle and success with a kid who is extraordinarily smart. It is a phenomenal film about life and the struggle of a genius boy who doesn’t know what to do with the mind he was given. Then a community college teacher helps him understand what he can do with his life, and gets him to use his life in the best way possible.
 Schindler’s list-A rather dark, true, sad movie about the holocaust with as good of an outcome as possible. Shindler, a member of the Nazi party saves hundreds of Jews from concentration camps by hiring them into his factory. Loosing most of his fortune because he has to bribe many of the Nazi leaders. Schindler shows the true good and difference one person can make, and how much they are willing to give up to do the right thing. This should be shown because it shows who we are and what we as people are willing to do, also it gives a little bit of our history.
 The Shawshank Redemption-It is a story about a man who tries to escape from prison. He was thrown in on a count that he murdered his wife, and he says he was falsely accused of his crimes. He digs threw his wall of the prison, into a pipeline room, and then crawls threw a sewage pipe 500 yards to freedom. It is an overall very dramatic and powerful movie that shows human resilience and smarts.
 Forrest Gump-In this film you see the recent history of the US from the late 40’s early 50’s up until about the 80’s. You follow the life an Alabama boy named Forrest. He tells you all about his life and how what he has done. It shows the coming of age of a boy who has a mental disability, and his heroic nature. Although Forrest doesn’t understand the gravity of most of the decisions he makes, he has a profound influence on how our country has changed. This is why I have this movie on this list.
 WALL-E-A Pixar movie about the destruction about a small trash collecting robot who embarks on a journey that will change the fate of an extremely polluted and almost apocalyptic Earth. It is a feel good story about a robot who saves the world by bringing them back from their lives on a ship that is flying around space because earth is so polluted and full of trash. He and the robot he loves, eve, go and get the ship back to earth and save the day.
 Into the Wild-Based on a true story, it is about a troubled boy who adventures out into the outer reaches of the Alaskan wilderness in an attempt to live off of the land. He survives for nearly 3 months until his untimely death after eating a poisonous plant. This movie would be a good choice because it is a story about freedom and a will to do survive on your own. It makes you think about the power of nature and the miraculous Chris MacCandless story.
 The Breakfast Club-This movie is just a movie they have to see. It is a classic and shows our culture and how we live. It also shows that deep inside we can be very different people. It shows how what is on the outside can be very different than what is on the inside. Although they look like a group of misfits who are spending their Saturday at school, they are more than that as they bond throughout the film in different ways.
 Life is Beautiful-An Italian about a father who saves his son from the holocaust and eventually meets his demise. It is a movie that shows how much a father is willing to give up for his family, even in a time of death and desperation.
camden cleathero

Anonymous said...

 I am Legend-A story about 1 man who survives the zombie apocalypse, and is now working and dedicating his whole life to finding a cure. His only companion is a dog that he had just got right before the disease broke out. It is and shows the dedication he has and the sacrifices he was willing to go through in order to do his best to save the world. It shows that even a man with nothing is willing to give up everything for the good of humanity.
 Star wars-It shows how we think of space and what will go down in the future if we were to have extremely advanced technology, and we can fly at light speed meeting aliens. It shows how we view aliens and how we have thought of them in the past years. Also it is a key piece of our film history that could not go without seeing.
-Camden Cleathero

Anonymous said...

Top ten list
 Good Will Hunting- It is a story about struggle and success with a kid who is extraordinarily smart. It is a phenomenal film about life and the struggle of a genius boy who doesn’t know what to do with the mind he was given. Then a community college teacher helps him understand what he can do with his life, and gets him to use his life in the best way possible.
 Schindler’s list-A rather dark, true, sad movie about the holocaust with as good of an outcome as possible. Shindler, a member of the Nazi party saves hundreds of Jews from concentration camps by hiring them into his factory. Loosing most of his fortune because he has to bribe many of the Nazi leaders. Schindler shows the true good and difference one person can make, and how much they are willing to give up to do the right thing. This should be shown because it shows who we are and what we as people are willing to do, also it gives a little bit of our history.
 The Shawshank Redemption-It is a story about a man who tries to escape from prison. He was thrown in on a count that he murdered his wife, and he says he was falsely accused of his crimes. He digs threw his wall of the prison, into a pipeline room, and then crawls threw a sewage pipe 500 yards to freedom. It is an overall very dramatic and powerful movie that shows human resilience and smarts.
 Forrest Gump-In this film you see the recent history of the US from the late 40’s early 50’s up until about the 80’s. You follow the life an Alabama boy named Forrest. He tells you all about his life and how what he has done. It shows the coming of age of a boy who has a mental disability, and his heroic nature. Although Forrest doesn’t understand the gravity of most of the decisions he makes, he has a profound influence on how our country has changed. This is why I have this movie on this list.
 WALL-E-A Pixar movie about the destruction about a small trash collecting robot who embarks on a journey that will change the fate of an extremely polluted and almost apocalyptic Earth. It is a feel good story about a robot who saves the world by bringing them back from their lives on a ship that is flying around space because earth is so polluted and full of trash. He and the robot he loves, eve, go and get the ship back to earth and save the day.
camden cleathero

Anonymous said...

 Into the Wild-Based on a true story, it is about a troubled boy who adventures out into the outer reaches of the Alaskan wilderness in an attempt to live off of the land. He survives for nearly 3 months until his untimely death after eating a poisonous plant. This movie would be a good choice because it is a story about freedom and a will to do survive on your own. It makes you think about the power of nature and the miraculous Chris MacCandless story.
 The Breakfast Club-This movie is just a movie they have to see. It is a classic and shows our culture and how we live. It also shows that deep inside we can be very different people. It shows how what is on the outside can be very different than what is on the inside. Although they look like a group of misfits who are spending their Saturday at school, they are more than that as they bond throughout the film in different ways.
 Life is Beautiful-An Italian about a father who saves his son from the holocaust and eventually meets his demise. It is a movie that shows how much a father is willing to give up for his family, even in a time of death and desperation.
 I am Legend-A story about 1 man who survives the zombie apocalypse, and is now working and dedicating his whole life to finding a cure. His only companion is a dog that he had just got right before the disease broke out. It is and shows the dedication he has and the sacrifices he was willing to go through in order to do his best to save the world. It shows that even a man with nothing is willing to give up everything for the good of humanity.
 Star wars-It shows how we think of space and what will go down in the future if we were to have extremely advanced technology, and we can fly at light speed meeting aliens. It shows how we view aliens and how we have thought of them in the past years. Also it is a key piece of our film history that could not go without seeing.
-Camden Cleathero

Skylar Daley said...

Dear Mr. Alien,
Considering your time here on Earth is short, I would recommend watching these ten movies to better understand the human race:
1. Mean Girls(2004)-This is a classic coming-of-age film, showcasing the struggle almost every teenager goes through; the struggle to figure out who they really are. It also illustrates the high school experience of mean girls, parties, and rumors.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird(1962)- Unfortunately, something very common in human life is discrimination. People cast judgments on one another based on things such as religion, sex, or race. TKAM is a story about a young girl whose father defends an innocent black man in court, but he is convicted because of his skin color. It shows how prevalent racism is even today.
3. Cheaper by the Dozen(1950 or 2003)- This movie revolves around a large family that goes through many of the challenges that other families around the globe go through. No matter what, though, they get through the problem because their family is the most important thing. It will help you understand how much family is valued.
4. Troy(2004)- A war that started all over a girl, the Trojan War is one of the oldest documented wars. Troy captures the lust for war and violence that is threaded in the human nature.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street(2013)- If you want to know what drives almost everything a person does, it is money. This movie shows the chase that one man goes on to make a profit and how he abuses it once he has made it. It is not far off from real life, either: corruption is everywhere and humans forget almost all of their morals when money is brought into the equation.
6. The Notebook(2004)- Although it is one of the most iconic love stories ever, The Notebook is very unrealistic. However, it shows people’s fascination with love and romance. Everyone wants to be loved, and they live that fantasy in a sense when watching movies such as this.
7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)-This documentary, about a man whose pride and joy is his sushi restaurant, will help you understand the ambition that humans have. Everyone has dreams, and they work tirelessly to achieve them, which is exactly what Jiro did throughout his entire life, as documented in the movie.
8. The Devil Wears Prada(2006)- Usually only popular among female audiences, this movie is actually something anyone trying to comprehend humans should watch. It is about a woman who completely changes herself to be hired at a fashion magazine. Everyone is worried about looks. It captures people’s obsession with material things and image, which is very relevant to everyone’s day to day lives.
9. The Three Stooges(2012)-Despite all of the seriousness in people’s lives, it is good to have a good laugh every now and then, which is something everyone loves to do. The Three Stooges is a foolishly funny movie, starring a bunch of men acting like complete goofballs. It confirms the idea that humans often like to be silly, and find joy in watching others do so, too.
10. Final Destination(2000)-This is yet another wildly unrealistic movie, but by watching it you can understand the fear and paranoia that is in so many people’s lives. It is about everyday people being killed by all different kinds of freak accidents. By watching films such as this, children and adults alike have found a fear inside of themselves that leads them to double-check that they locked their doors and sleep with a nightlight on.

Gianna Larson said...

1. Good Will Hunting, actually took place in Boston and embeds our actual culture in history. It displays what it is like to live in the city and the different types of people/groups that live there. Will Hunting doesn’t believe that his life can amount to anything, while all the people around him see potential in him. Will has the experience of love and knowledge whether he knew it or not. He is that secret genius that is just waiting to be discovered, but rather be kept unknown.
2. Schindler’s List, it is based off of the holocaust. This thrilling movie goes in depth to an important event in our history. It displays what it was like to live during the holocaust and how brutal the conditions were. It displays that even being one of the biggest leaders during the holocaust, one doesn’t always agree what is wrong and what is right. It is a movie where we can see the experience of being a Nazi, a Jew, a child, or just a regular bystander.
3. Forrest Gump is a well-known film around the world. Forrest Gump takes us through his awful childhood, all the way to his experience as a soldier in the army. The viewers see how Forrest pushes all the negative attention away and focuses on enjoying life. Throughout every journey he embeds a positive light in each situation. He may not be the smartest person, but he sure knows how to embrace the nationalism he has for his country. Forrest Gump lived his life to the fullest, representing the experience of a lifetime.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird shows the history of racism from our history. Atticus Finch is defending Tom Robinson, who is a black male who is accused of raping a white woman. This film goes to show how our world treated different ethnicities. This film represents the time period of equality, and our struggles to gain equal rights. The children have curious minds and go on many adventures, which is what a normal kid in today’s society should get the experience of.
5. V for Vendetta shows how corrupt the government is and how the people of the government are immune to know what is going on. This movie portrays “V” as a man who wants what is right for the people, revealing flaws in the biggest problem of their history. It shows how humans can all come together to fight for what they believe is right in society. V wants all of the people to live a life knowing what’s going on around them, and aware of their own government and what it is all about.

Amanda Towne said...

Some “must-see” movies that reflect on the breadth and depth of human experience include;
Forrest Gump (1994) shares his experience in life and during the Vietnam War. He explains the hardships he has overcome because of the support of his mother.Gump has touched everyone he shared his life stories with in a positive way. Overall, Forrest Gump represents the everyday life of an average guy who fought in the war.
Mean Girls (2004) represents typical high school drama that their school deals with. A group of the “popular” girls in school manage to turn around their reputation when they become the “mean” girls of the school. They all turn against each other and start a school wide brawl. This reflects on the symbolic high school experience humans face in their teenage years.
Life is Beautiful (1997) reflects on a Jewish family and their life. During the Holocaust, most Jews would get sent to concentration and/or death camps. An average Jewish family gets split up and tries desperately to protect each other so they can reunite. This film shows how times were during the Holocaust and mirrors what families went through.
12 Years a Slave (2013) is a drama that exemplifies how blacks were used as slaves during the Civil War. Most were treated harshly by the upper class, but some were shown kindness from others. Mothers and fathers were separated from their families and sold as slaves. This film shows how times used to be when blacks weren’t treated equally.
Cyberbully (2011) is a drama of an average high school girl that gets betrayed by her best friend. The main character’s best friend bullies her via the internet and turns her whole life around. Her friend is forced to admit the truth after a series of tragic events happen. This film shows how a typical teenager’s life is flipped upside down because of high school.
Gravity (2013) is a film based on space. The main character, Sandra Bullock, is trapped in space with her partner after their rocket crashed. She lost her partner and had to survive on her own with a low oxygen mask. The film shows how different Earth and space are compared and how human life is different.
American Sniper (2014) is film based on a true story of an American soldier and his family. It is an eye-opening film that show how a soldier deals with his everyday life until he gets killed. It was devastating for his family, friends, and everyone who suffered from his loss.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) is a film based on the Holocaust. A curious boy wanders up to a fence that separates him from the concentration camps. He meets a friend on the other side of the fence and goes to visit him everyday. His friend brings him an extra pair of ‘striped pajamas” and digs a hole for him to crawl under the fence. They are both killed by the gas chambers in the end. The film is a general idea of what the Holocaust was like and what the Jews went through.
The Last Song (2010) is a romantic drama about a teenage love. When main character, Ronnie, goes to stay with her sick dad for the summer, she falls in love with the typical “ladies’ man”. After challenges they faced, they ended up together.
The Blind Side (2009) is a film about a homeless adult who has no place to stay. A religious mother of two sees him on the street and offers to give him a home. They cared for him and he became a special part of their family. It is a heart-warming film that shows how caring they are for one another.

Kaleala KF said...

top ten movies rated from good to AMAZING!!!!

10. What’s Eating at Gilbert Grape: this movie is important because it shows how an adult brother tries to take care of his younger mentally retarded brother while maintaining his family's’ home. He has to struggle with so many responsibilities.

9. V for Vendetta: this film portrays a dystopian world who is under attack by an unknown force (V). This film has the mysterious aspect which is somewhat sexy.

8. Mrs.Doubtfire: this film is a must see because it’s about a father struggling to see his kids after his wife divorces him. In order to see his kids he dresses up to be a nanny and babysits his kids until one day his wife finds out who he is, and things get resolved in the household.

7. Charlie St. Cloud: This movie will pull on your heart strings hardcore. It is staring the ever so beautiful Zac Efron. It’s about how his character’s brother dies in a fatal car crash and how his character has to let go of the guilt and remember the good times he had with his brother.

6. Forrest Gump: Now this is a movie classic, Tom Hanks stars in this. Forrest tells his story while sitting on a bench. His life story is incredible and it’s surprising because he is slightly mentally slow.

5. Patch Adams: This movie is based on an incredible true story. A doctor wants to help sick kids by making them laugh, the only problem is that he cannot legally interact with them unless he is a third year medical student. He is a first year when he first meets the kids and makes them laugh. ignoring strict orders, he keeps coming back and seeing them. The head of the medical school does not get his sense of humor and threatens to take away is diploma if he cannot keep out of the hospital. Patch has to choose between his diploma and making kids laugh.

4. Titanic: This is also a true story. The ship Titanic went down after hitting an iceberg. This story is over all sad because so many people were on the sinking ship, and so many people died.

3. Where the Red Fern Grows: This INCREDIBLY sad movie is number three because it is about a boy who saves up enough money to buy 2 coon hunting dogs. He trains them to be the best and is known to be the best in the state. When an accident happens where a mountain lion attacks the two pups and majorly injures them is where you see the main character mature to an adult. This is kind of a twisted coming of age story.

2. The Help: this movie is a great story even though it involves racial segregation. It shows how blacks are treated in the 1960’s

1. Lucy: This bad ass film is a must see because it stars the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson. Her in it is reason enough to see it. This movie shows is hypothesizing how human brains would work if they used 100% of it. Also this movie contains Morgan Freeman.

Anonymous said...

1. Toy Story- The heartwarming story about the toys belonging to a small boy that come to life when nobody is around. It is one of the best children’s movies because it is funny, emotional and adventurous at the same time. This movie would illustrate to aliens the concepts of imagination and how it is sometimes hard to grow up into more mature beings.
2. V for Vendetta- It is one of the Earth’s best dystopia movies, it shows true rebellion and corruption and gives a glimpse of how the human race pictures themselves at times. This truly would make aliens feel scared of having corruption just like I felt when I watched this film.
3. Forrest Gump- Being one of the earth’s most memorable movies, Forrest Gump is a life story of a man who goes through life impacting others and making history as he lives. This movie would illustrate how we as humans struggle to reconcile our place in this world.
4. Apollo 13- this film is about the ill faded moon mission knows as Apollo 13. This movie shows how humans come together when problems strike and work together to overcome adversity.
5. it’s a Wonderful Life- This movie is one of the most classic movies I can recall. It is about a man who is given the chance to see what life would be like if he wasn’t born. This shows how we can appreciate our impact on each other and how even a simple life can be important and noble.
6. Star Trek the Movie- The movie version of the popular and classic TV series shows how man wants to explore the universe peacefully. It is about groups that wander the universe on missions and generally doing good.
7. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington- A Classic film about a young man who travels to Washington full of idealism, but then has to struggle against the realities of political corruption. This movie shows the best and worst parts of the political process and would show how we recognize our own problems and how we strive to improve.
8. Castaway- A film about a man who becomes stranded alone and forced to fend for himself. Shows the enduring nature of the human spirit.
9. Harts War- This is a movie about a prisoner of war camp in WWII Germany. The main character is a general who is forced to sacrifice his life for the safety of his men. Shows the choices we must make whether it’s for our own pleasure or for the good of others. Illustrates how people are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of others.
10. Good Will Hunting- a film about a gifted boy that struggles with life even though he is a genius because of his troubled past. This shows the complexity of the human experience and how people can grow and overcome personal difficulties.

Connor Binegar