As previously mentioned I will be taking a class on philosophy this semester. Since I like to watch movies I thought I would try to watch some more philosophically inclined films this semester. What do I mean by this? Well, I guess something like The Matrix or Inception where your mind feels a bit stretched by the possibilities embedded in the film.
The primary subjects being covered will be (1) ontology, (2) epistemology, (3) anthropology, (4) ethics, and (5) postmodernism. I would say The Matrix falls under (1) and (2) and Inception falls primarily under (2). If you would, when you recommend a film, let me know what broad “subject” with which this correlates. That way I will know when I should rent it!
You would do well to watch The Box. In a sense, it is difficult to say that this movie falls under a category, for each are so interrelated that it is hard bifurcate. Yet, I know what you mean you list the categories, so I would say that it accords most with Anthropology. This movie did not do well in the box office, primarily because few actually understand the film. I saw it in the theaters, and was absolutely stunned over how well the screen play understands Sartre’s worldview. My wife really didn’t get it either, until, after about a two hour lecture on existentialism, I explained to her the premise of the film and its presentation (i.e., philosophical depiction of metaphysics and free will).
By the way, pay close attention to the many, many allusions to Sartre in the film. In fact, it would be best to read some of Sartre’s works. I don’t think Cameron Diaz actually understood the film, for she doesn’t act it very well. Of most important to note is the statement by Diaz’s character when she asks for forgiveness, to which she replied forgiveness doesn’t exist, only the choices we make in life. It is a great film to watch with several other philosophically astute friends.
My first degree was in philosophy, from a Catholic College. I am glad myself for the Western Philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, even the Stoics, Epicurus, etc. This logic from the Greeks, etc. was certainly our Western culture and mind set. But we have so simply lost it however. I would consider Platonism, Neoplatonism, with Plotinus to Augustine very central in Western theology.
I’m going to have to disagree with James; avoid The Box at all costs! I am dumber for having sat through that movie. But watch The Experiment which falls under #3 & #4 (and quite brilliantly at that).
I would recommend the following:
The Village – (4)
Fight Club – (3) (5)
V for Vendetta – (4) (5)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – (2) (3) (4)
Lost in Translation – (3) (4)
Watchmen (1) (3) (4) (5)
Memento – (2) (3)
Philosophy is one of the classes I never found time to fit into my schedule. I’m envious. One of these days I suppose.
If you haven’t seen it I would most strongly recommend The Nines
It was so good I blogged about here.
I think it would probably fit best in number one – ontology, but this is quite a hard film to define….
Thanks for this list! I will make sure to try to rent these over the semester. If I watch one you will see it mentioned in my Saturday film review posts.
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