Unreal Nature

February 26, 2009

Philosophy as Suspense Thriller

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:28 am

I love philosophy, but the following exchange made me laugh: 

n+1: The cinema exists to show consciousness in some way but the hardest thing in movies is to convincingly show people thinking.

AT: The suspense in that for me is, what will they say next? What are they thinking and how will they articulate it? Will they find the right words? So much of day-to-day life is finding the right words.

n+1: And deciding what to wear. Avital Ronell is dressed kind of exotically in the film. She starts it off talking about anxiety and West ends it talking about mystery. The film is bracketed by those two thoughts. West and Ronell set the tone for the whole film. Sometimes it seems like the walking and moving through space make the talking unnecessary. The moods come out without speech. It’s almost like the walking would have been enough.

AT: If I really had balls I probably would have done it that way!

It’s taken from Time is Real: Interview with Astra Taylorm Director of Examined Life, , in N+1 (Feb 25, 2009).

Astra Taylor’s documentary Examined Life premieres in New York this week and opens in other cities soon. It follows eight philosophers, public intellectuals, writers, or whatever you want to call them, on trips through public spaces like airports and garbage dumps.

Cornel West, Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Slavoj Zizek, and Judith Butler discuss their ideas with the filmmaker on strolls, or while rowing a boat (in the case of Hardt) or from the backseat of a moving car (West).

I think I’d like to see the movie, but my interest is more about a People magazine type celebrity ogling than ‘observing’ their philosophizing.

-Julie

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