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8 Things Movies Can Teach You About Human Nature

Stashed in: #happiness, Best PandaWhale Posts, Influence!, Decisions, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Compassion, Meaning of Life, Stories, Are You Not Entertained?, Breaking Bad, Heroes!, Top 10, movies, The Internet is my religion., Destiny, SciFi!, Film

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By studying what makes a great story we can learn a lot about human nature:

Stories aren’t just distractions — our brains are wired for story and studies show they are a fundamental part of the way we perceive the world. 

Stories are how we form meaning in our lives and they are vital to everything from career to family to happiness.

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Great stuff!

1. Unmasking "So much energy goes into masking; it follows, therefore, that scenes of unmasking are inherently powerful."

2. Sacrifice "Heroes are better than we are, not necessarily because they possess greater powers than we do, but because they are willing to sacrifice more than we are."

3. Compensation "people go to movies, not to see the world as it really is but to see a world that compensates for the one they know"

4. Happiness "Heroes are usually the most honorable of people, but they are seldom the most successful or the happiest."

5. Decisions "When people make decisions, they cut themselves off, not only from something that might lie ahead but also from a possible escape route."

6. Loss "most memorable films are permeated by loss. It is the great universal theme, the emotion that everyone can identify with and be moved by. "

7. Destiny "You seek your destiny; you succumb to your fate"

8. Mentors "The greatest gift one human being can give another is a recognition of his or her own potential"

I am probably unusual in that I am trying to raise my son to be a hero.  I hope my wife forgives me...

What is wrong with raising your son to be a hero? The struggle of The Hero's Journey?

As the article says, most people want their children to be happy and/or successful. Heroes "are seldom the most successful or the happiest".  And the biggest price is usually paid by the people who love them the most...

That's what graphic novels and movies have taught me.

Heroes aren't happy and/or successful but they do find tremendous meaning in their duty.

One has only to look at action figure toys to know that the market recognizes a basic human desire - for boys AND girls - to strive to be heroic.

PS This is my favorite bakadesuyo yet, or at least close to the top of my top 10.

(Walter White would be an interesting study of masking/unmasking)

What makes Breaking Bad so good is he keeps going back and forth between mask and unmask.

And yes, this was one of the best bakadesuyo's ever!

Love this. I am going to use this in my Sci Fi film class. Today, I we were discussing the murder scene Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," and the subject came up, "Why?" The discussion on human nature...insightful. I read one simple quote I was able to find quickly. 

Even though Tom Cruise battling aliens might be a little out there, the connections to real-life situations like this poor mother who smothered her own infant...real...powerful. Students had even more connections. This convo will continue. 

Excellent. I think you've just articulated by SciFi is so powerful, too.

So I guess someone who sacrifices a lot of other people for his or her values is a... politician... I wonder why I keep seeing images of Republicans when I write that?

I do worry regularly about the notion of "heroism". It seems to be something people generally don't reflect on much. Sacrifice is insufficient for heroism of course. There are a lot of tacit, unacknowledged values that heroes of a particular culture must venerate to be a hero. If sacrifice were the only ingredient then a lot of terrorists are "heroes". Then again maybe they are heroes in different cultures, and maybe our heroes are their terrorists... Hmmm... maybe we should ask native americans who the heroes are...