Humanist approach can be explained with the theory of needs otherwise called as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslow, the human goes through an endless cycle of chasing dreams and fulfilling needs to realize their full potential. In 1943, Abraham Maslow stated that people motivate themselves to achieve their needs and seeks the next goal to fulfil and so on. He listed out a basic need in hierarchical order. This five step model is commonly called as Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs.
- Psychological Needs
- Self Actualization
The wish list of human starts with need of acquiring the psychological satisfaction, seeking the needs that can ensure the survival like an infant seeking the parent for their warmth or an adult working hard to fulfill some of the basic necessities of living like food, shelter, warmth, education, air and water.
As the person starts realizing the list of psychological needs, protecting the acquired dream becomes another necessity. Fear of losing and protecting things becomes a priority to be met. Going by law, knowing limits, stabilizing the foot to protect.
It is well known that human being is a social animal and the need for the belongingness comes as another necessity to survive. The person starts looking into others to create bonds and share affection, form social groups to interact create family, friends and work team.
The responsibilities adds up as the human grows; the man realizes that to attain personal growth he needs to master his skills, perform better, achieve something that can be done only by him, dominance and self respect that grows along with it.
Self Actualization Needs
Actualization happens when the person recognize his own potential that he had experimented while walking towards this step. A fulfillment realized through his own experience.
Maslow’s theory of needs can be put as in achieving any goal and is a step by step process that starts at the first step of recognizing the need and the trying to achieve it once the needs are realized the person will shift his focus in achieving his next goal.
Relation of Humanism in Films
Humanist approach is the talks about the human around them. Being human; means giving value to the basic aspects of life, showing concern, and welfare, for human is the definition given in dictionaries. Apart from film being entertainment based the directors during the war time turned their focus to the people suffering.
Those times and even today the films of the humanist directors are seen as a message of the people who were suffering. Films of those who were in plight seeking help, protect family, dire desire to keep living. The Humanist movement started in in the wake of art form of cinema, along with qualities and implications during the post war period. The films that are made just psychologically affect the spectator let it be laughing, crying or showing hatred to other people also get motivated/involved it that momentary scene that can satisfy the need of both the audience, who achieved the goal seeking an entertainment or any sort of emotional break out and the artists who achieved the goal of moving their spectators to cry and smile with them.
Characteristic of Humanist Films
- Provoke emotional response
- Documentary styled
- mise-en-scene and steady shots
Humanist Approach – American Beauty
Staging its premiere on September 8, 1999 in Los Angeles, California and had its box-office release nine days after its premiere airing on the same year, this American comedy-drama cinematic movie written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes stars award-winning ensemble of actors from Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham, Mena Suvari as Angela, Annette Bening as Lester’s wife Carolyn, and Thora Birch as Lester and Carolyn’s daughter Jane. Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper and Allison Janney also have appearances in this one of a kind motion picture. A film of open criticism on how Americans ideas, preferences and pleasures of what beauty is all about, from patriarchal affection, eroticism, addiction to material things, personal freedom and absolution. In the plot, Lester who was in the prime of his life detests his occupation and his consumerist adds to his headache not to mention the animosity of their daughter towards him and his wife worsens his demoralization. Lester found himself developing carnal imaginations over Angela in a tub-full of red rose petals. Meanwhile, his wife had flings with Buddy Kane, his career opponent. Lester edged on the brink of losing his job. He found out about the adultery his wife committed. As the story rolls, Lester saw the agitated Angela who enticed him to the point that they almost copulated which was prevented when she declared still being unstained. In a deeper perspective, there is more to this Humanist movie more than just what meets the eye if each moviegoers will actually dig even deeper to the hearts and core of this movie and the portrayals of its myriad of amazing actors and actresses.