Power of a Film Quote

I wasn’t intending to blog on this topic, but a rousing Twitter chat (#caedchat moderated by @davidtedu) broke out on a Sunday evening and wow . . .

Movies.  Film.   We’ve talked about trailers and condensing story and using those powerful elements of story to enhance student engagement with our content.

Tonight’s chat was all about the power of a single quote and why film quotes, in particular, endure, pack so much meaning into a single phrase, sentence or paragraph.  We also discussed the inherent value of film quotes as a way of achieving common ground with students, parents and colleagues.

We also got ridiculous.  And that was a welcome feeling this evening.

Here is just a sampling:

On the value of a pithy film quote toward connecting with students, parents and colleagues, we highlighted the shared experience as having tremendous worth.  When we are virtual strangers, mutual enjoyment over a film, a piece of storytelling that has such emotional resonance.

Regardless of comedy or drama, great films cause us to feel.  And usually those feelings align across the audience.  When we bring up films in class, when we quote from them, that shock of recognition in our students — that is powerful. In that one moment, we are compatriots with a shared love.  The walls of authority and obedience dissolve and we are all just laughing, or crying, or sighing, or shuddering — together.

Why do they have so much meaning? Those single quotes?  Firstly, they come armed with aforementioned emotional experience.  Secondly, we remember those quotes and immediately the story returns as well along with all of its merits and understandings and semantic connections.  A single quote may ignite a near total recall of conflicts and character arcs, themes and settings.  And that is notable as we consider our storytelling.

While we never know just when a film is going to produce a memorable quote — I don’t think most screenwriters craft the lines with quotable intentions (notice I said most) — we can craft stories with the foresight that if we make each do its job with tight, powerful impactful prose and verse?

Why, our students might be quoting from our stories and those of their peers well into the future.

About Dan Ryder

Dan Ryder & Jeff Bailey, co-founders of Wicked Decent Learning, a blog, podcast, Twitter feed and who-knows-what-all-else devoted to teaching and learning in Vacationland and beyond. Teachers, dads, actors, writers, geeks, buds.

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