Philosophy on Screen

King Vidor – The Fountainhead (1949)

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The hero of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is Howard Roark (Gary Cooper), a fiercely independent architect obviously patterned after Frank Lloyd Wright. Rather than compromise his ideals, Roark takes menial work as a quarryman to finance his projects. He falls in love with heiress Dominique (Patricia Neal), but ends the relationship when he has the opportunity to construct buildings according to his own wishes. Dominique marries a newspaper tycoon (Raymond Massey) who at first conducts a vitriolic campaign against the “radical” Roark, but eventually becomes his strongest supporter. Upon being given a public-housing contract on the proviso that his plans not be changed in any way, Roark is aghast to learn that his designs will be radically altered. Roark sneaks into the unfinished structure at night, makes certain no one else is around, and dynamites the project into oblivion. Read More »

Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering Kofman – Derrida [+Extras] (2003)

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One of the most influential and iconoclastic figures of the 20th century, French philosopher and father of “deconstruction” Jacques Derrida has single-handedly altered the way we look at history, language, art, and film. In the spirit of Derrida’s work, acclaimed filmmakers Kirby Dick (SICK: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST [torrent available here]) and Amy Ziering Kofman have created an innovative and entertaining portrait by questioning the very concept of biography itself. Featuring a mesmerizing score by Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (THE LAST EMPEROR), DERRIDA is a playful and provocative glimpse at a visionary thinker as he ruminates on everything from SEINFELD to the sex lives of ancient philosophers. Read More »

Claire Denis – L’intrus AKA The Intruder [+Extras] (2004)

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L’Intrus opens to a shot of the Franco-Swiss border as a border guard performs a customs check and inspection of a random vehicle with the aid of a contraband-sniffing dog. The seemingly mundane image of frontier, wilderness, and deception provides a curiously appropriate introduction into the Claire Denis’ impenetrably fractured, enigmatically allusive, otherworldy, and indelible metaphysical exposition into the mind of an emotionally severe, morally bankrupt, and profoundly isolated heart transplant patient named Louis (Michel Subor). Idiosyncratically unfolding in elliptical, often reverse chronology (with respect to the heart surgery) through the lugubriously fluid intertwining of Louis’ alienated existence and deeply tormented subconscious, the film is a fragmented and maddeningly opaque daydream (or perhaps more appropriately, a haunted nightmare) of the price exacted by his disreputable past, estranged relationships, hedonism, and instinctual quest for survival: his inability to reconcile with his only son and his family; his sexually motivated, yet emotionally distant relationship with a materialistic pharmacist; his dubious, transcontinental past (a suppressed history that may have included murder). Perpetually followed by a beautiful, enigmatic sentinel (Katia Golubeva) – or conscience – who seems to have been instrumental in obtaining his new heart, what emerges is an indelible, elegiac, and poetically abstract dreamscape through the wondrous, alien terrain of unreconciled (and irreconcilable) personal history, unrequited longing, and haunted memory. Read More »

Gert de Graaff – De zee die denkt AKA The Sea That Thinks [+Extra] (2000)

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The Sea That Thinks is a 2000 Dutch experimental film directed by Gert de Graaff. The film makes heavily use of optical illusions to tell a “story within a story” revolving around a screenwriter writing a script called The Sea That Thinks. The script details what is happening around him and eventually begins to affect what happens around him. Read More »

Francoise Wolff – Jacques Lacan Speaks (1971)

Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) is widely regarded as one of the most influential psychoanalysts of the 20th century, one whose work has refashioned psychiatry both as a theory of the unconscious mind and as a clinical practice. His seminars and writings have also had a widespread influence throughout the humanities and social sciences, especially in education, legal studies, literary and film studies and women’s studies. Read More »

BBC – Human, All Too Human: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre (1999)

BBC documentaries on 3 existentialist philosophers – Neitzsche, Heidegger and Satre. The rip quality is not great, but highly watchable and the standard of the documentaries is top notch featuring a number of highly respected academics plus Will Self. Read More »

Sophie Fiennes – Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012)

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Short Synopsis
The makers of THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA return with THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY. Philosopher Slavoj Zizek and filmmaker Sophie Fiennes use their interpretation of moving pictures to present a compelling cinematic journey into the heart of ideology – the dreams that shape our collective beliefs and practices. Read More »