Film and philosophy

First and practically speaking, film as a medium is an exceptionally rich pedagogic tool which can encourage students brought up in a visual culture to engage with philosophy.

Beyond that, it reinvigorates a number of philosophical debates in aesthetics and philosophy of art.

It also contributes to contemporary debates in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics.

And finally it can serve to push philosophy to confront its residual iconoclasm that makes some of its practitioners fearful of images and the imaginary.

However uncanny the view of Plato’s cave as a metaphor for cinema seems, it is clear that the movies offer far more than illusion.

via TPM.

Top 100 U.S. movies

… because movies can be a wonderful teaching tool.

American Film Institute - AFI

The American Film Institute released its 10-year anniversary list of the top 100 U.S. movies.

1. “Citizen Kane,” 1941.
2. “The Godfather,” 1972.
3. “Casablanca,” 1942.
4. “Raging Bull,” 1980.
5. “Singin’ in the Rain,” 1952.
6. “Gone With the Wind,” 1939.
7. “Lawrence of Arabia,” 1962.
8. “Schindler’s List,” 1993.
9. “Vertigo,” 1958.
10. “The Wizard of Oz,” 1939.
11. “City Lights,” 1931.
12. “The Searchers,” 1956.
13. “Star Wars,” 1977.
14. “Psycho,” 1960.
15. “2001: A Space Odyssey,” 1968.
16. “Sunset Blvd.”, 1950.
17. “The Graduate,” 1967.
18. “The General,” 1927.
19. “On the Waterfront,” 1954.
20. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1946.
21. “Chinatown,” 1974.
22. “Some Like It Hot,” 1959.
23. “The Grapes of Wrath,” 1940.
24. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” 1982.
25. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” 1962.
26. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” 1939.
27. “High Noon,” 1952.
28. “All About Eve,” 1950.
29. “Double Indemnity,” 1944.
30. “Apocalypse Now,” 1979.
31. “The Maltese Falcon,” 1941.
32. “The Godfather Part II,” 1974.
33. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” 1975.
34. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” 1937.
35. “Annie Hall,” 1977.
36. “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” 1957.
37. “The Best Years of Our Lives,” 1946.
38. “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” 1948.
39. “Dr. Strangelove,” 1964.
40. “The Sound of Music,” 1965.
41. “King Kong,” 1933.
42. “Bonnie and Clyde,” 1967.
43. “Midnight Cowboy,” 1969.
44. “The Philadelphia Story,” 1940.
45. “Shane,” 1953.
46. “It Happened One Night,” 1934.
47. “A Streetcar Named Desire,” 1951.
48. “Rear Window,” 1954.
49. “Intolerance,” 1916.
50. “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” 2001.
51. “West Side Story,” 1961.
52. “Taxi Driver,” 1976.
53. “The Deer Hunter,” 1978.
54. “M-A-S-H,” 1970.
55. “North by Northwest,” 1959.
56. “Jaws,” 1975.
57. “Rocky,” 1976.
58. “The Gold Rush,” 1925.
59. “Nashville,” 1975.
60. “Duck Soup,” 1933.
61. “Sullivan’s Travels,” 1941.
62. “American Graffiti,” 1973.
63. “Cabaret,” 1972.
64. “Network,” 1976.
65. “The African Queen,” 1951.
66. “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” 1981.
67. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, 1966.
68. “Unforgiven,” 1992.
69. “Tootsie,” 1982.
70. “A Clockwork Orange,” 1971.
71. “Saving Private Ryan,” 1998.
72. “The Shawshank Redemption,” 1994.
73. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” 1969.
74. “The Silence of the Lambs,” 1991.
75. “In the Heat of the Night,” 1967.
76. “Forrest Gump,” 1994.
77. “All the President’s Men,” 1976.
78. “Modern Times,” 1936.
79. “The Wild Bunch,” 1969.
80. “The Apartment, 1960.
81. “Spartacus,” 1960.
82. “Sunrise,” 1927.
83. “Titanic,” 1997.
84. “Easy Rider,” 1969.
85. “A Night at the Opera,” 1935.
86. “Platoon,” 1986.
87. “12 Angry Men,” 1957.
88. “Bringing Up Baby,” 1938.
89. “The Sixth Sense,” 1999.
90. “Swing Time,” 1936.
91. “Sophie’s Choice,” 1982.
92. “Goodfellas,” 1990.
93. “The French Connection,” 1971.
94. “Pulp Fiction,” 1994.
95. “The Last Picture Show,” 1971.
96. “Do the Right Thing,” 1989.
97. “Blade Runner,” 1982.
98. “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” 1942.
99. “Toy Story,” 1995.
100. “Ben-Hur,” 1959.

Interesting facts about the list:

  • Out of the 43 newly eligible films released from 1996 to 2006, only THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (#50), SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (#71), TITANIC (#83) and THE SIXTH SENSE (#89) made the cut.
  • Steven Spielberg is the most represented director with five films: ET, JAWS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER’S LIST. (…) Directors Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Billy Wilder each have four films on the list. Frank Capra, Charles Chaplin, Francis Ford Coppola, John Huston and Martin Scorsese each have three.
  • Robert De Niro and James Stewart are the most represented actors with five films each. Faye Dunaway, Katharine Hepburn and Diane Keaton are the most represented actresses with three films each.
  • The earliest film represented is INTOLERANCE (1916) and the most recent is THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001).
  • The 1970s is the most represented decade with 20 entries.

The top-100 were chosen from ballots sent to 1,500 filmmakers, actors, writers, critics and others in Hollywood from a list of 400 nominated movies, 43 of which came from the decade since the first list was compiled. (CNN)

007 and Blindness

Daniel Craig has not stopped that franchise from letting him secure a slew of other roles to take on in between his adventures as 007. The actor currently has two pretty big films (The Invasion, The Golden Compass) coming out later this year, and is now in talks to star in Blindness — adapted from Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago‘s novel — and to be directed by Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardner). Also in talks to co-star alongside Craig is the very beautiful (and very talented) Julianne Moore. (Cinematical)

The latest 007 movie, Casino Royale, was quite sober on the technology/gadget front. Not a bad way to introduce the “new” Bond.

I enjoyed Saramago’s novel (writing “I enjoyed Blindness” would have made an awkward sentence) in spite its long sentences and the author’s disdain for punctuation. The book is an allegory. It will leave you wondering. Saramago received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998.

If you liked the photography in The Constant Gardener then you also want to see Meirelles’ City of God (Cidade de Deus). It was nominated for four Oscars.

Km. 0

km0.jpgA movie. A typical meeting point in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (Spain).

The title refers to Madrid’s central square (from which all distances within Spain are measured). Zero may also describe the state of the lives of 14 strangers. The stories of these fourteen collide at this meeting point on a sultry August afternoon. (thanks)

Light-hearted and predictable. Among the several story lines: love that rekindles after years of ausencia see also Guantanamera). Concha Velasco is always wonderful… even in a small, thin role. I wish we could see more scenes of the Sol, a place that I have seen, that I have frequented and that I miss.

Guantanamera (1995)

The movie (I also like the song.)

When Aunt Yoyita dies during a visit to Gina in Guantánamo, Gina, along with Yoyita’s childhood sweetheart, the aging Cándido, must take the body to Havana. To their annoyance, Gina’s overbearing husband Adolfo, a punctilious undertaker with political ambitions, takes charge of the journey. On the road, they keep crossing paths with Mariano, a trucker who’s a playboy with a woman at every way station. He and Gina recognize each other: he was her student and wrote her of how much he loved her, then dropped out of school in embarrassment. Before they reach Havana, Gina realizes she can choose between Adolfo and Mariano. (thanks)

A satire about life in Cuba? A personification of young ideals being replaced by bureaucracy? Perhaps and probably.

For sure, another tale of the heart having reasons that the heart knows not and how these reasons will re-kindle after years (see also Km. 0).