Movies. All of us in Residential Life/Housing know the movies we love to use. For training, for fun, etc. Back in the 90s, I joked with some staff that really the best question to ask in an RA interview was whether you liked the movie “Grease” or not. If you liked “Grease” you were RA material. If you didn’t: “Seeya!” We were joking. Sort of. Don’t get me started on “Grease 2″ though. Michelle Pfeiffer is no Olivia Newton John.
Anyway. I have two summer movie lists. Before I share them, please know – I will never recommend a movie I have never seen. There are LOTS of great movies out there (AND I would love you to comment and leave some of your own recommendations) but I don’t think it is fair for me to recommend a movie I haven’t seen. It is just wrong (in my opinion). So without further ado – I give you my first list of quintessential summer movies:
These are movies that are “impactful.” You will be a better person for watching them (if you haven’t seen them yet). They deal with themes as a Residential Life Staff member that you will come across (making a difference in someone’s life, overcoming adversity, a life redeemed, etc)
- Lean on Me (Morgan Freeman)
- Best Movie. Ever. Based on a real life story, I even got to meet the real Principal “Crazy Joe Clark” at a leadership conference. It is all about one man making a difference in the lives he is educating. I STILL Cry every time when I watch this movie.
- The Power of One (Morgan Freeman)
- Another powerful movie. Dealing with Africa and apartheid, revealing the power of education to make a difference in someone’s life. Best quote of the movie: “A waterfall begins with a single drop of water.” If you haven’t seen this movie. SEE IT.
- Stand and Deliver (Edward James Olmos)
- Another true story – about a teacher who challenges urban kids to take the AP calculus test. A movie about math. Yes!
- Shawshank Redemption (Morgan Freeman)
- Yes, I am a big Morgan Freeman fan.
- American Me (Edward James Olmos)
- And Edward James Olmos
- Remember the Titans (Denzel Washington)
- I use this movie every year in Leadership class. People sometimes give me ribbing for it, and I challenge them to find a better movie to demonstrate different styles of leadership, and mix in issues of diversity. No one has done it. Yet.
- Dangerous Minds (Michele Pfiffer)
- She makes up for “Grease 2” and “Married to the Mob” and “Batman Returns” – Catwoman? Really?
- Precious (Mo’nique)
- Higher Learning (Ice Cube, Lawrence Fishbourne)
- Dead Poet’s Society (Robin Williams)
- School Ties (Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon)
- American History X (Edward Norton)
- Crash (Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle)
- Radio (Cuba Gooding, Jr)
- Rudy (Sean Astin – nephew of Alexander Astin – the guy who created the Social Change Model)
- Pay it Forward (Kevin Spacey)
So – here’s my challenge for you. Pick a movie you haven’t seen from the above list. Watch it. Then write about it. Email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will post it on here for a review. Even if you HATE it. Explain why you hate it. Please?
If you don’t like that challenge? Add a movie of your own on the comments below. Maybe I will watch it (if I haven’t seen it) and do a review.
That’s all for now. We are heading into the trench run of closing. “Look at the size of that thing” I am thinking as we enter into our last two days. Fortunately, I have a wise Obi Wan Kenobi telling me – use the force. Let go, Luke. While at the same time I have a Han Solo telling me – “Let’s blow this thing and go home, kid!” Next week, I’ll present you list number 2 – “Cheesy/Comedic Res Life movies.” We have a tradition here at Fresno State that I will share next week once we destroy the death star of closing.
Until then…may the force be with you…always.