MOVIES AS A PLAYGROUND, as tools, as portals

Movies for Unschooling
Some movies are good shortcuts to understanding unschooling—for new unschoolers, and good boosters for the more experienced.

Movies for Deschooling

among younger children
among older children
between adults and children

Internet Movie Database: Good source for cast and crew and for cross references and lists.

Historical Movies in Chronological Order
Grouped chronologically within geographical and subject-matter headings, which are themselves mostly in chronological order. Joyce found this.
Amazon has reviews and notes on DVD and VHS recordings, the possibility of buying them used, and maybe best of all, there are lists of "best of" (and you could make up your own list too). Good place to browse before you go to the video rental place, or before ordering on Netflix.

Heath Ledger
Civil War
From ANY LIST click on listmania and look at some other lists. WAY too many to list here, but fascinating connections in all directions.

Marty Dodd's (short) list of Movies you didn't expect would have ninjas, but do, with call for additions to the list.

Not so Scary—Movies that seemed very scary from the previews but weren't so scary, such as One Hour Photo and The Village, with notes, here.

... sharing movies with our kids

Sandra Dodd

Movies touch and show just about everything in the world. There are movies about history and movies that are history. There are movies about art and movies that are art. There are movies about music and movies that would be nearly nothing in the absence of their soundtracks. Movies show us different places and lifestyles, real and imagined.
The Wizard of Oz as a Buddhist Parable by Ryuei Michael McCormick

Cinema Nirvana by Dean Sluyter, a whole book of essays explaining Buddhist principles as illustrated in movies. (He did the same using Rock'n'Roll song, old jokes, nursery rhymes and such in one of my favorite books ever, which has about the longest name ever: Why the Chicken Crossed the Road & other Hidden Enlightenment Teachings from Buddha to Bebop to Mother Goose.)

I rented Clash of the Titans because it had Judi Bowker, whom I'd seen in Brother Sun, Sister Moon 30 years ago (and many times since). Looking up Harry Hamlin after that, I read about and bought a copy of a San Francisco state production of The Taming of the Shrew, and that will lead to something else as well. Because of the directors' commentaries on Lord of the Rings, I knew Peter Jackson was influenced by Ray Harryhausen, and so when I added Clash of the Titans to my Netflix list, I knew it was going to help me understand Peter Jackson's artistic influences too.

In an interview on the DVD, Ray Harryhausen told Arnold Kunert:

The cinema was made for fantasy rather than normal type of stories, mundane stories. It gives you a feeling of wonder, for one thing. It stimulates the imagination and I think adults like fantasy as well as children. Most people feel it's rather childish to have an imagination. I don't agree with that. I think you should go through life and imagine the very best.

In talking about creatures and special effects, he named Dennis Muren, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. I know nothing about the first and last, but in the course of the editing of this page, I'll learn something about them.(WOW.) Harryhausen said one of his greatest influences was the art of Gustav Dore. That name (and art) I do know, from storybooks from my own childhood and I've bought and studied (meaning looked at until I disappeared into that world) as an adult, too. Also named: Willis O'Brien. I'll have to look it up to make this link, so when I wrote this I didn't know; later I did.


Three Idiots is known by all the Indian homeschooling community, and is picking up popularity by foreigners now.

In response to a question about other, possibly similar films, Prabha Manoj Sathyanarayanan wrote:

Taare Zameen Par is another movie similar to three idiots with an unschooling kinda theme. From the same guy - Aamir Khan. Dil Chahta Hai is another movie that can make a deep impact on boys - this is about three close friends who have distinct tastes with regards to relationship. Zindagi na milegi dubara is a big hit here. Boys in India are all big fan of Salman Khan. There are some funny numbers like God Tussi great ho. Rab ne bana de jodi is a beautiful love story about a man and wife. Koi mil gaya and Krishh are science fictions with an Indian drama touch. Jodhaa Akbar is a fantastic movie about the love life of King Akbar and his Hindu wife. (Some violent scenes are there), Lakshya, and yes go for 'Hum dil de chuke sanam' for a drama, for understanding Indian culture - Hum saath saath hain is a good one. Guru is a movie about a villager with no education who became an entrepreneur. But with Indian movies, you might want to check it out yourself first and then may be show it to your children since the ratings here sometimes mean nothing. Our children are used to romantic songs, sexy dance numbers and the violence sometimes. In fact we like the violent movie where there is a super hero cast who fights for justice since it is so relevant for all us and empowers us very much.

Mental hiking trails to follow:
Tim Burton * * * 100 Best Movies (Time magazine) * Robert De Niro * 100 Greatest American Movies (American Film Institute list) * Senses of Cinema: Great Directors * *

Follow a movie's leads, whether they're mental, conversational, research, comparison or eventually involve new hobbies or travels or writing/art/music.

Monster Interest (testimonial and kid-art)

Transcript of a text-chat on movies and unschooling: Learning from movies

TV Art music Deschooling