by Aaron Schooler
Cinema, when done creatively, masterfully, and properly, can have a larger impact on oneís life than many other forms of inspiration. I have time and time again watched movies that consummately portray an important life lesson. From Disney flicks to documentaries, they are innumerable. There comes a time though where the sugar coated lessons taught from G-rated fairy tales just arenít enough to reach the mindset of a maturing mind. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 picks for movies every parent should show their puberty-ridden teenage children in order to help keep them steered in the right direction of life. This isnít going to be pretty.
1. Requiem for a Dream
This film should be shown to every young teenager just entering high school. Set aside the fact that it is riddled with strong language and disturbing images. One day you will have to admit to yourself that your kids watch films with cursing and violence, and that they use the same language themselves. Didnít you?
Requiem for a Dream truly represents one of the major vices this country holds strong: addiction. Whether it is an Americanís refusal to stop drinking caffeine saturated drinks or the idea that the use of hard drugs makes you cool, every one of us succumbs to an addiction throughout our lives. This movie shows the viewer in as ugly a way possible what detriment radiates from addiction. It touches on peopleís obsession with their weight. It teaches that hard drugs are in fact addictive and can truly hurt you. It even touches on Americansí obsession with Hollywood and the American Dream of becoming famous or Ďgetting on televisioní. It will never happen, but from childhood we are taught that it probably maybe hopefully will happen to every one of us. These delusions are torn to shreds by the grotesque imagery used in this film. I would also like to see a teenager inject heroin into their vein after watching this movie. Itís not gonna happen.
Speaking of fairy tales, we should all be aware it is not healthy to believe in them verbatim especially after one matures past childhood. This is the perfect film to make sure your kids do not surrender to their peersí insistence that the Bible is, well, good. Bringing up a child can be a daunting task, and sometimes other people try to raise them for you, i.e. a church. This movie can help prevent or correct that.
For those of you who believe in a god, the film can still help allow children to form their own opinions. There is nothing wrong with doubt.
I do not believe in lying to a child about Santa Claus, but at least one day you tell them you lied to them. I cannot imagine trying to explain why you would give the credit of so much gift giving to a fictional fat-ass, but for the most part, itís not as harmful as say telling your children that snakes can talk or that a carpenter was crucified, came back as a zombie, and somehow by doing so saves you from your sins. Itís as much of a fairy tale as Shrek, and itís just wrong for people to keep lying to their children all the way through the teenage years.
Religulous informs us about how harmful to the past, present, and future of mankind religion is. It focuses on the fact that these religious stories are actually very crazy, but the majority of people are just used to hearing it. Itís embedded into their brains, so it must be true. Donít let it happen to the teenagers. They are our future! Arguably, this movie could be the single most important film every human should see.
3. American History X
Every time I attempted to talk about this movie among acquaintances, I get the same reaction, ďYOUíRE RACIST!Ē I do not understand why so many people declare this to be such a racist film. It is true that the movie shows the ugliest sides of prejudice, but it shows it for a reason. Anybody who isnít a nut recognizes that this masterpiece preaches against racism using the harshest methods possible: by showing the viewer how heinous and extreme it can get. The moral remains that racism is bad. Innocent people get emotionally and physically abused. If the poignant moment where Danny is broken free of his white supremacist bonds by his older brother Derek doesnít reach someoneís kids, then somethingís wrong with those kids. Plus, the audience gets to witness a painful twist of fate at the end that will leave them with an open mind to form their own opinions.
I think it was inevitable that this movie would make this list. As poorly acted, written, and directed as this movie was, Kids remains a masterpiece because of its determination to freak you out. Dark, sadistic, comedic, and disturbing describe every frame of this movie. It is painful to watch, and even more painful to look away. In other words, itís gold. When you really analyze this film, it may convince you to never fuck again! I would not recommend it, but at least it will help the teenagers refrain from promiscuous, dangerous sex. If I were the principal of a junior high school, I would make this film mandatory viewing. I would interrupt class to gather everyone into the auditorium and project Kids onto the largest screen imaginable. That also may be the reason I am NOT in fact a junior high school principal. Either way, if a school district wants to preach about how important safe sex is, all they have to do is have the students watch and analyze this flick. The girls will clamp their legs shut and make sure they NEVER pass out drunk at a party; the boys will be painting their dicks with rubber faster than a Jew collects interest! I meanÖÖ.what?
5. The Breakfast Club
Teenagers today were not even a twinkle in their dadís eye when this movie was huge; however, itís amazing how many of the same lessons still apply to every generation thatís followed its release. Do cliques still exist in school? Very much so. Do kids still get abused? Absolutely. Is every day in school a popularity contest? Damn straight. The Breakfast Club promotes unity in a way that every single one of us can relate to. The jock may learn not to be such an arrogant asshole. The geek will learn to accept who they are. The pretty girls might learn not to be so judgmental about a personís outer appearance. The ruffian can find the soft spot in his heart. Just think of all the intelligible lessons this film exhorts towards the viewer that just might help direct him or her into a better, brighter direction for their life. Besides that, it is just an extremely entertaining movie.
So, what did you think? Did I make any sense? Well then, thatís what COMMENTS are for. Iíd love to hear your suggestions. It only makes it more interesting. Have a nice day.