Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maleficent & Thinner: Curses

Most people have not seen this scary movie, Thinner,  but it is great and based on a Stephen King's story, so you must trust it. King is a genius and this movie is terrifying. The scenes here, though, are okay for classroom use. Make sure your culture allows this kind of discussion in class. Maleficent is a popular tale/movie and I really enjoyed it. It is a much lighter scene.

I. Talk to a partner:

1. What do you know about curses?

2. Do you believe them?

3. How are curses seen your culture?

4. Have you ever heard of a curse that has affected someone you know (or someone famous)?

5. Do you think curses are commonplace in sports?

6. Are there curses that people make use of to hold a partner or break up other people's loving relationship? Why do you think that happens?

II. Read the definition of a curse below and discuss the questions that follow.

A curse, from a biblical perspective, is any undesirable matter that emerges from an utterance, statement, pronouncement, invocation, oral or written vocabulary that expresses ill will or misfortune to an individual, animal or object. This is a definition based on biblical analysis. It won’t be found in a dictionary because secular dictionaries do not use the bible for definitions.

Definition provided by this religious site.

Work with a partner and decide if your beliefs match with what characterizes curses:

1.What distinguishes a curse from other unpleasant matters is in its expressive nature. It needs to be uttered whether verbally or in writing.

2. It’s not just a bad thought, feelings of anger or hatred towards someone.

3. Curses are not telepathic or psychical.

4. Curses can't be received through a dream, vision, apparition, or any spiritual phenomena.

5. Curses can only be expressed in the physical or earthly realm, not spiritual realm.

III. Watch the segment from the movie Thinner. Then discuss the questions about it.


1. Describe the segment.

2. What did the gypsy do to the Caucasian man? How did he curse him?

3. What happened to the fat man in the next days of the week?

4. What do you think of this curse?

5. What do you think has happened for the gypsy to do that?

6. What do you think will happen next?

IV. Watch the second segment from the same movie and discuss the questions:


1. Describe the scene.

2. How different is the main character now? How does he feel?

3. What is the other curse the gypsy throw?

4. What are the consequences of this curse?

5. How does the cursed man's wives react to it? Does she believe in curses now?

6. Do you think these kinds of curses are possible?

7. Do you think the segments show prejudice against gypsies? Explain it.

8. How different/similar are both curses shown in the segment?

9. According to what was described as curses in exercises I and II, are they actually curses? What are some of the lacking characteristics of curses?

V.  Watch the scene from the movie Maleficent and discuss the questions.

1. Describe the scene.

2. What is the curse Maleficent bestows on the princess?

3. Why did she do it?

4. According to what was described as curses in exercises I and II, are they actually curses? What are some of the lacking characteristics of curses?

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