Philosophical Films

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Eonblue » May 15th, 2013, 9:40 pm

Grotto19 wrote:I realize that most of the films listed in this thread regard metaphysics, and in that regard are quite complex and interesting (very highbrow at times). However for all that they are also largely useless as they have no application in the real world. I enjoy depth as much as the next person; however a great lesson comes not from its complexity but from its meaning and value.
I disagree. I think characters provide personal insights into certain ways of thinking that are commonly associated with philosophy and metaphysics. Archetypes give ideas and principles a face. The experience of watching a movie is subjective in nature but for the person who can understand the plot and characters objectively there is much meaning and value to a film. Directors know that people are not really paying attention to the movie and to understand the philosophy behind a character in a movie sometimes it takes a couple of viewings. My point is the people that make these movies consider their their characters to be very much applicable to the real world. Allegories and metaphors are two overtly obvious cases. Anyways not trying to argue just trying to share my perspective.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Kepler1571 » May 29th, 2013, 3:47 pm

"Memento" is a very good exploration of phenomenology and ontology. It's also an entertaining movie. I highly recommend it.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Theophane » May 30th, 2013, 9:12 am

"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure."
I have committed this monologue to memory and recite it often when no one is around. 8) :lol:

What defines a mammal? Agent Smith (who by that point in the story had already begun to exceed the limitations of his "Agent" program) seems to think that mammals are defined by group behaviour. Humans aren't mammals because we have fallen out of harmony with Nature, is the implication Agent Smith makes. But is that an observation of envatted Matrix humans or free-range humans in the real world? What we can observe of humanity inside the Matrix (during the first movie) seems to represent people doing what they would normally do.

Humans don't behave like other animals-- we're different. That's what Agent Smith is driving at.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Daviddunn » May 31st, 2013, 9:07 am

Revolver by Guy Richie with Jason Statham and Benjamin Andre of Outcast is good philosophical film. It illustrates how the devil tricks us into believing it is our friend or it is us when one persistently ignores God's commands and adopts the evil's way of pride, greed, anger, and lust until God wrath comes down on such lost soul and the devil laughs, for one has fallen pray its dumb tricks.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Thumos11 » January 3rd, 2014, 11:55 pm

I enjoy that we have a place where movies are explored in a philosophical matter. As a screenwriter I often feel the need to explore philosophical questions about ideas and story elements that percolate in my head. Feedback from this group would be greatly appreciated on my latest project:

Working title "The Model". Still working out the details, but it will probably be a science fiction time travel scenario where a guy from the future goes back in time to visit the obsession of his life the model Gia Carangi. Her tragic story has been told in the HBO movie Gia, starring Angelina Jolie some years ago, Mila Kunis was also in that movie portraying the young Gia.

I'm going for a different take of course, maybe even a little humor. I have this running joke I might use where Gia is so beautiful that even the hottest models are jealous and can't stand her, but in a funny way. A young Cindy Crawford is angry about everyone referring to her as "baby" Gia, "My name is Cindy OK!". A young Kelly Lebrock "Weird science" "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" was also modeling during that time, and described her as "drowning in her fame." And Kelly has this look in her eyes like she wants to really drown her. Supermodel Janice Dickinson struggled a bit when she first got to New York, unlike Gia who effortlessly shot to the top despite breaking all the rules and carrying a switch blade in her back pocket. Deborah Harry of Blondie had Gia in her "Atomic" video back in 1980. 'Hello, this is my video--stop filming her."

Catherine Deneuve, "She's suddenly on the cover of Vogue, taking over everything. I'm really from France, who is she some girl from Philly with her Philly accent and her switch blade? I'm from France not her!" Not that Catherine ever said that, but it would be funny if she did. Or I might have someone like Geena Davis, saying. "But how tall was she? She was only 5' 9", She was bit short for a professional, unlike me I hit that height requirement, but because she was Gia... Or maybe have Lorraine Bracco say, "I modeled for the house of Jean-Paul Gaultier. Back then you actually moved to France, and you learned how to speak the language, and you were loyal to that one house. But Gia comes along and every house goes crazy, and she wasn't loyal, she bounced around from house to house--the heffer. One moment Yves Saint Laurent, the next Versace, then Vuitton. Everybody wanted her, and no one could say no." Or back to Dickinson who really said something like, "Cindy Crawford could channel her inner rebel. She had a tough quality that came through in her photos, which made her fiery and sultry, unlike so many models who don't sizzle. They're just plastic people. But where Cindy could channel her inner rebel, Gia actually WAS a rebel...and a little bit disturbed...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lintner her lover, she's blond, blue eyes, cute...sipping her morning coffee, waking Gia up...

Lintner: C'mon honey time to get up.

Gia: What? What time is it?

Lintner: It's 4am.

Gia: 4am? You've got to be kidding me. I don't have anything set up for today.

Lintner; Yes you do.

Gia : No I don't.

Lintner: Yes you do--you have that Cosmopolitan shoot today.

Gia: Cosmo? That's next week isn't it?

Lintner: No it's today.

Gia: Oh please give me another hour...Nobody could possibly be up this early for a freakin shoot.

Lintner: Nobody except professionals like you. That's why they pay you the big bucks...And besides I already gave you an hour.

Gia: You did? When was that?

Lintner: When I woke you up at 3am!

Gia: You woke me up at 3am? Are you crazy?


Gia: Her?

Hero: Yes that little girl will one day grow up to portray you in a movie, and when she does she will need a year to recover.

Gia: Recover? From what?

Hero: From portraying you in a movie.

Gia (laughing): You're joking right? A whole year? Just to recover from acting like she's me? Am I really that...?

Hero: You have no idea...

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by MichaelM » June 19th, 2014, 4:44 pm

Edo wrote:Terrence Malick's Badlands deserves mention here. It shows the gap between the way we can think, use words, and create symbols, and the way we actually live our lives. It is not pretentious, following Pascal's idea that to make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher. I've never seen a movie that made me so conscious of how inadequate our words are to convey what we are trying to do with our lives. Beyond all that, it has a beautiful score and is quite funny.
Also Malick's Tree of Life, with it's critic dividing "birth of the solar system" sequence. The bit with the one dinosaur mercifully sparing another risked cheesiness, but I thought putting this whole sequence in the middle of a family drama was brilliant in evoking a sense of elemental forces at work in human relationships (as father to three boys I can certainly vouch for the presence of these forces), and then contrasting these forces with a spiritual grace. And of course Malick is always great at conveying a sense of wonder, which I think is central to philosophy. And he translated Heidegger I think!

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Genesis_pig » January 19th, 2015, 9:43 am

Anyone mentioned I heart huckabees?

Also these: Synecdoche, NY Alphaville Seventh Seal Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead Billy Liar Schizopolis Last year at Marienbad Suraj ka satvan ghoda The ballad of Cable Hogue El Topo Dead Man The Shooting Ride in the Whirlwind

and also most of the Monty Python movies.

Heck, in fact all movies are philosophical.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Henry Case » May 15th, 2015, 12:34 pm

Ten Greatest Philosophical Films:

1. Adaptation 2. Her 3. Crimes and Misdemeanors 4. Blade Runner 5. Wild Strawberries 6. Minority Report 7. Upstream Color 8. La Dolce Vita 9. Solaris (Tarkovsky version) 10. Primer

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Gertie » June 14th, 2015, 2:37 pm

Another Earth is a film I enjoyed with implicit philosophical overtones.

And a recent addition to the AI list is Ex Machina.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Above us only sky » June 16th, 2015, 11:22 pm

Misty wrote:There are so many films over the years that fit this criteria. I hope the ones I offer here are acceptable.

I liked the 2011 film called -- The Ledge by Matthew Chapman. Stars Charlie Hunnam, Terrance Howard, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson (I may have his last name wrong). conflicts of atheist and fundamental christian

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson filmed in 1969 town devouring their own because of ritual

I think both of these films are conversation worthy.
Thank you Misty, I 'm also looking for philosophical films. I would surely watch them!

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Consul » June 25th, 2015, 9:38 pm

If a philosophical film is one raising philosophical questions, then I recommend ROBOCOP (both the original from 1987 and the remake from 2014) because it raises the philosophical question of personal identity. Is Alex Murphy identical with Robocop? What are we?

"What is Robocop? It's a man inside a machine. So our man is reduced down to its essential elements, which are brain, heart, and lungs."
– Martin Whist (Production Designer)

"That is a machine. I know, but it's a man inside a machine."
"It's a machine that thinks it's Alex Murphy."
– quotes from Robocop (remake)

"Consciousness is nothing more than the processing of information."
"You're not you because of your legs, your arms, your hands. You're you because of your brain. It's your brain's capacity to process information that makes you who you are."
– Dr. Dennett Norton (fictional person in the movie (remake))

"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Greta » June 26th, 2015, 2:26 am

Nice thread. Lots of interesting recommendations, including most that I might have mentioned. The highlight moment for me was after Murphy was murdered, everything goes black, and then the screen starts up. I was also impressed by the ability every single of the movie's characters to consistently make bad decisions. Certainly OCP's OH&S policy could do with a dust off.

Samsara has no dialogue - just a constant stream of beautiful and/or moving images from around the world.

I know they're not movies, but I love Philip deGrasse Tyson/Carl Sagan's Cosmos and Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Lucylu » June 30th, 2015, 7:37 am

Lots of great suggestions I will have to check out! I would recommend the following:

Solaris is a head scratcher. I'm still not really sure what happened at the end but that's kind of the whole point. You have to let go of whatever you used to think of as life.

At the time Zeitgeist was also thought provoking and challenged what I took for granted (even if its contents are debatable).

And the Spanish film Bombón: El Perro is good. Its a simple story but it stays with you. It's very real, about a middle aged man's struggle to find an income. It isn't driven by dialogue. It doesn't patronise and spell everything out- you just get a sense of the man by spending time with him. It feels more like you are quietly travelling with him watching what happens and taking things as they come, as he is.

And, as a child, the animation of Alice in Wonderland was truly magical. It seemed perfectly possible that there was a whole world of talking animals and plants behind the veil of normal life.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts". -Bertrand Russell

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Val Valiant Five » July 2nd, 2015, 2:13 pm

I'm investigating movies from this thread that are making my synapse fire in new ways, so thank you all!
Lucylu wrote:At the time Zeitgeist was also thought provoking and challenged what I took for granted (even if its contents are debatable).
Peter J. has admitted that the film Zeitgeist does contain contextual errors, but created initially as a kind of art film, it has smashed boundaries other art films never have. His latest project is well under way, called InterReflections, it promises to be more of a creative take on his other projects like Culture in Decline, which were more about facts and number crunching.
Humanity has been galvanized by the internet. Its' a virtual, neural web of collective consciousness. And in this social-electric state, we all have a say; From the darkest corners of thought to the most enlightened. It's a mirror of all our minds.

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Re: Philosophical Films

Post by Ambauer » October 9th, 2015, 11:15 am

I find that Christopher Nolan films usually perk my philosophical antennas! "Inception" has some interesting philosophy of mind undertones. "The Dark Knight" certainly raises some ethical issues. "The Dark Knight Rises" also has some ethics as well as some Philosophy of Law (There are some scenes that remind me of Hobbe's Leviathan). "Interstellar" raises some interesting philosophy of science issues. I personally love Nolan films, and I can't believe I still haven't seen "Momento"!

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