Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most ... See full summary »
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Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas. Peter Singer's thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue's posh boutiques. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. Judith Butler and a friend stroll through San Francisco's Mission District questioning our culture's fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West - perhaps America's best-known public intellectual - compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life ... Written by
There's a certain pleasure in the life of the mind, that cannot be denied. It's true that you might be socially isolated, because you're in the library, at home and so on. But you're intensely alive. In fact, you're much more alive than these folk walking the streets in New York, in crowds, which is no intellectual interrogation and questioning going at all.
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I'm surprised this movie is rated so highly. I thought any movie that tried to make you think would start at 5 and go down from there. While it's encouraging that that's not the case, it's unfortunate that this has to be the movie to hold up as an example.
There is nothing profound here. There is no coherent theme or narration to tie everything together. It is just a collection of people discussing their new-agey ideas seemingly off the top of their head. I would have much preferred a scripted lecture where every sentence was thought out in advance.
I was hoping to learn something here or at least say "hmm, that's interesting". But that didn't happen once. Maybe philosophy will always require a book to appreciate and will never lend itself to a good movie. I actually do think it is possible, this movie just doesn't deliver.
6 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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