9780812695755

Movies and the Meaning of Life Philosophers Take on Hollywood

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780812695755

  • ISBN10:

    0812695755

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-03-29
  • Publisher: Open Court

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Summary

"The meaning of life is the most urgent of questions," said the existentiallist thinker Albert Camus. And no less a philosopher than Woody Allen has wondered:"How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?"
"Movies and the Meaning of Life" looks at popular and cult movies, examining their assumptions and insights on meaning-of-life questions: What is reality and how can I know it? (The Truman Show, Contact, Waking Life); How do I find myself and my true identity? (Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, Boys Don't Cry, Memento); How do I find meaning from my interactions with others? (Pulp Fiction, Shadowlands, Chasing Amy); What is the chief purpose in life? (American Beauty, Life is Beautiful, The Shawshank Redemption); and How ought I live my life? (Pleasantville, Spiderman, Minority Report, Groundhog Day).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments: You Mean So Much to Us xi
Introduction: So...Why "The Meaning of Life"? xiii
Take One: Are You For Real? 1(44)
THE TRUMAN SHOW
1. Deceit and Doubt: The Search For Truth in The Truman Show and Descartes's Meditations
KIMBERLY A. BLESSING
3(14)
CONTACT
2. Our Place in the Cosmos: Faith and Belief in Contact
HEATHER KEITH and STEVE FESMIRE
17(15)
WAKING LIFE
3. The On-Going Wow: Waking Life and The Waltz Between Detachment and Immersion
KEVIN STOEHR
32(13)
Take Two: Who Am I? 45(66)
FIGHT CLUB
4. I Am Jack's Wasted Life: Fight Club and Personal Identity
JOHN ZAVODNY
47(14)
BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
5. It's my Heeeeaaaad.!: Sex and Death in Being John Malkovich
WALTER OTT
61(16)
BOYS DON'T CRY
6. Popping It In: Gender Identity in Boys Don't Cry
REBECCA HANRAHAN
77(17)
MEMENTO
7. We All Need Mirrors to Remind Us Who We Are: Inherited Meaning and Inherited Selves in Memento
MICHAEL BAUR
94(17)
Take Three: Am I Alone? 111(40)
CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
8. The Indifferent Universe: Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors
MARK T. CONARD
113(12)
SHADOWLANDS
9. Rats In God's Laboratory: Shadowlands and The Problem of Evil
DAVID BAGGETT
125(12)
CHASING AMY
10. Flying Without a Map: Chasing Amy and The Quest For Satisfying Relationships
JERRY L. WALLS
137(14)
Take Four: What Do I Want Out of Life? 151(60)
AMERICAN BEAUTY
11. American Beauty: Look Closer
GEORGE HOLE
153(16)
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
12. Life is Beautiful: The Lure of Evil and the Rebellion of Love
ANTHONY C. SCIGLITANO, JR.
169(15)
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
13. The Shawshank Redemption and The Hope For Escape
WILLIAM YOUNG
184(15)
KILL BILL, VOLUMES 1 AND 2
14. The Roar and the Rampage: A Tale of Revenge in Kill Bill Volumes I and II
SHAI BIDERMAN
199(12)
Take Five: How Should I Live My Life? 211(78)
PLEASANTVILLE
15. Pleasantville, Aristotle, and the Meaning of Life
ERIC REITAN
213(15)
SPIDER-MAN AND SPIDER-MAN 2
16. Of Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Living Like a Hero
JONATHAN J. SANFORD
228(14)
MINORITY REPORT
17. So Tired of the Future: Freedom and Determinism in Minority Report
NIR EISIKOVITS and SHAI BIDERMAN
242(15)
PULP FICTION
18. Grace, Fate, and Accident in Pulp Fiction
MICHAEL SILBERSTEIN
257(16)
GROUNDHOG DAY
19. What Nietzsche Could Teach You: Eternal Recurrence in Groundhog Day
JAMES SPENCE
273(16)
You Mean We Have to Say Something About Ourselves? 289(6)
Index 295

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