|Movies Are Us||
This lesson was developed by Ms. Linda Leyva;
Mendocino Middle School, Mendocino, CA|
Here is a chance to watch a movie and learn something about the
brain at the same time. Your assignment is to watch one of the following
- Starring, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner; released
in 1990; rated PG-13; 121 minutes. Based on the book by Dr. Oliver
- Starring, Cliff Robertson, Claire Bloom, Lilia Skala; released in
1968, rated PG, 103 minutes. Academy award for Best Actor (Cliff
Robertson). Based on the short story Flowers for Algernon by
- "Rain Man"
- Starring, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise; released in 1988; rated
R; 140 minutes. Academy awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Barry
Levinson), Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman) and Best Screenplay (Ronald Bass
and Barry Morrow).
- "Regarding Henry"
- Starring, Harrison Ford, Annette Benning, Bill Nunn; released in
1991; rated PG-13; 107 minutes.
- "The Wild Child"
- Starring, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Cargol, Jean Daste, Paul
Ville; released in 1969; rated G; 85 minutes.
All of these movies are
available at video rental stores. After
you watch one of these movies, write a 250-300 word review.
Your review should describe the main characters (age, physical traits, &
personality), the setting, and briefly summarize the plot. It's important
that you recognize and discuss the problem that the main character must
overcome and tell the ways that are employed to solve the problem. Pay
special attention to the solution of the problem (if it is solved), and
the outcome of the story.
Explain what you liked
like about the film, giving examples to
back your statements. Don't just say it was interesting, say why it was
interesting. Explain why would you or would you not recommend the movie to
a friend. As a part of your review, address at least 3 of the 5 the
questions below for your video.
QUESTIONS FOR AWAKENINGS:
- What caused the brain damage to the "frozen" people in the film?
- Why do you think Lucy could keep walking when the pattern on the floor
- How was music important to the "frozen" people?
- What kind of music "worked?"
- Using the ouiji board, Leonard spelled out the name of the poem "The
Panther" by Karl Rainer Rilke. What is this poem about and why is it
important to Leonard?
- Why did Dr. Sayer have to stop using the drug L-Dopa on the "frozen"
- What has happened to them since 1969?
QUESTIONS FOR CHARLY:
- How did Charly change during the film, and what caused this change?
- This story is fiction, but do you think it would be good or bad if a
drug existed that could make people more intelligent? Explain your
- If a "smart pill" existed, who should be allowed to use it? Why?
- How did Charly and the scientists use rats as test animals? Was this
an acceptable use of animals as test subjects? Why or why not?
- Because he became "smart," Charly experienced love, joy, and self
fullfillment. Do you think it was better that he had these experiences,
or would it have been better if he never became smart, because of the
tragedy of losing so much? Explain your answer.
QUESTIONS FOR RAINMAN:
- Raymond uses routines and rituals to make himself feel safe. Describe
several of of these routines. Many normal people
use routines in this way. How is Raymond's use different?
- Dustin Hoffman won awards for his convincing acting in this film. How
did he use body language and mannerisms to show
that Raymond is abnormal?
- Do you think it was cheating when Charlie
used Raymond's savant
abilities to win at poker? Explain the reasons for your
- Both Raymond and Charlie changed during the film. Describe how each of
them changed. Who do you think changed more?
- Raymond is "autistic." Find out and briefly describe what this means.
QUESTIONS FOR REGARDING HENRY:
- The neurologist tells Sarah that Henry's brain damage from the bullet
can be taken over by other parts of his brain,
but that the serious damage is from another cause. What was this cause?
- How did Henry change after his injury? Compare his personality before
and after the damage to his brain.
- Who was Bradley? How was he important to Henry's recovery both while
he was in the hospital, and later on when he
returned to his job as an attorney?
- How did Rachel teach Henry to read? Did this scene seem realistic to
- How difficult do you think it would really be for a severely brain
damaged adult to relearn to read?
QUESTIONS FOR THE WILD CHILD:
- This film is based on a true story, taken from the diary of the
Why did the doctor name the "wild" boy "Victor?" Was this a good idea?
- When Victor first came to live with the doctor, he didn't care if he
was hot or cold, had clothes on or not. How did the doctor change
Victor's sensitivity to his environment?
- What experience made the doctor belive that Victor could tell the
difference between right and wrong?
- How did Victor learn to ask for his milk?
- Nowdays people believe that Victor and other "wild children" really
had a neurological disorder called "autism," that is, they were
"autistic." Find out and briefly describe what this means.