Philosophical Movies

Philosophical Movies
Atreyu
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Posted Jan 1, 2006 - 6:39 PM:
Subject: Philosophical Movies
I apologize if this is in the wrong forum but anyway

What are your top 4 philosophical movies (or however many you wish to list)?

mine are:

1) The Matrix Trilogy
2) Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
3) Waking Life
4) Being John Malkovich (however, that may fall better into another category)
Evan
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Posted Jan 1, 2006 - 7:03 PM:

I think that you could argue that any movie has a philosophical meaning. You could also argue that music, and paintings, and cartoons, and sitcoms all have philisophical meaning. If you gave me some time, I could come up with a reason on how apples are philisophical in some way.

But the truth is, if you overanalyze something, it tends to lose all meaning. It's like if you say a word over and over, like "ketchup" for example, you get caught up in the word itself, and after a while, you forget what ketchup really is. Mushed tomatoes and sugar.

I do realize that there are lots of philosophical tidbits in many movies, especially the Matrix, but I find it more fun to sit there with a few friends and go "Woah! The bullets just stopped!"

I do have a question, though:

What sort of philisophical meaning does "the Lord of the Rings" have? I just thought it was a fantasy movie.
Atreyu
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Posted Jan 1, 2006 - 7:21 PM:

Well as you said, you can probably find philosophy in almost everything.

For me, the philosophical points in Lord Of The Rings was mostly derived from the "Good Versus Evil" stance of the movie.

Examples:
The entire fate of everybody in Middle Earth rested in the hands of a very small creature that nobody expects does anything special and is almost always overlooked.

(I have not read the book so I do not know if Wizards are classified as their own race, but if they weren't)
The fact that Sauruman(sp) conformed to the evil of Sauron just as the prologue stated "the hearts of men are easily corrupted by greed"

The way that evil was trying to take over all of Middle Earth and subject everybody to their ways was to me a sort of parallel of a dictating government forcing its citizens to believe in what they believe, do what they do, etc. Whereas the good of Middle Earth were fighting to maintain their ways of life which just as the creatures themselves were, very different and unique.
jaoman
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Posted Jan 1, 2006 - 8:37 PM:

Actually, Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings as a direct parody of World War II. I've haven't analyzed the movie, but the book has some deep thematic elements embodied in it.

Evan wrote:
I think that you could argue that any movie has a philosophical meaning.


You could, but not very successfully once you know what to look for. At least, you couldn't make the case for philosophical depths.

For me, most North American movies fall short in philosophical content. I've found that there's a much superior thematic range in Japanese Animation. Four favorites would be:

1. Neon Genesis: Evangelion
2. Full Metal Alchemist
3. Steamboy
4. Tokyo Godfathers or Akira
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Posted Jan 1, 2006 - 9:13 PM:

I disagree with Lord of the Rings. I'd substitute Fight Club instead.
Gaia_Guerrilla
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Posted Jan 1, 2006 - 9:37 PM:

(1) Princess Mononoke, (2) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, (3) Final Fantasy: Spirit Within, (4) Sin City.

Others: Matrix and Lord of the Rings were good, but not so much philosophical value over their whole trilogies.
Lodestone
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Posted Jan 2, 2006 - 2:19 AM:

jaoman wrote:
Actually, Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings as a direct parody of World War II.


Where did you get that idea from? Many people thnought that that was he was doing, but he has always, in every commentary, expressly denied that.

Here I'm going for films which are expressly philosophical: in which the philosophical message is at the forefront and the plot in the background, rather than the other way round, which is the standard.

1. I Heart Huckabees (discussing a middle road between existentialism and nihilism)
2. Adaptation (providing a postmodern discussion of the validity of artforms)
3. Waking Life (continental philosophy discussed in an American style)

And I'm loath to pick a fourth :-)
180 Proof
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Posted Jan 2, 2006 - 3:02 AM:

i. dogville (what is justice?)

ii. PI (the ontology of mathematics (e.g. is infinity real?))

iii. bladerunner (what is human being? what is real?)

iv. munich (the moral hazard of revenge)



note: just a random sample ...
ade90212
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Posted Jan 2, 2006 - 3:45 AM:

Marl Rowlands has written a book called The Philosopher at the End of the Universe in which he uses what he calls sci-phi films to introduce philosophical ideas. My favourite is the subtle defence of memory theory that Arnie gives in Total Recall.
jaoman
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Posted Jan 2, 2006 - 7:07 AM:

Lodestone wrote:
Where did you get that idea from? Many people thnought that that was he was doing, but he has always, in every commentary, expressly denied that.


They sure don't mention that in the documentaries.
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