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Examined Life (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 November 2009 (UK)
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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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Astra Taylor

Writer:

Astra Taylor

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Cast

Credited cast:
K. Anthony Appiah ... Himself
Judith Butler Judith Butler ... Herself
Michael Hardt Michael Hardt ... Himself
Martha Nussbaum Martha Nussbaum ... Herself
Avital Ronell ... Herself
Peter Singer ... Himself
Sunaura Taylor Sunaura Taylor ... Herself
Cornel West ... Himself
Slavoj Zizek ... Himself
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

philosophy | f rated | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Philosophy is in the streets.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sorgulanmis yasam See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,085, 1 March 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$120,555, 5 July 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sphinx Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Avital Ronell: This is something that Derrida has taught: if you feel that you've acquitted yourself honorably, then you're not so ethical. If you have a good conscience, then you're kind of worthless. Like, if you think, oh, I gave this homeless person five bucks, I'm great! then you're irresponsible. The responsible being is one who thinks they've never been responsible enough, they've never taken care enough of "the other". The other is so in excess of anything you can understand or grasp or reduce. This, ...
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User Reviews

I felt engaged in the dialog
3 June 2009 | by johnjohnson68510See all my reviews

I really like the concept of this film: take philosophy off the page and put it back in the mouth of philosophers. Although each thinker only gets ten minutes, it is a great summary of their work. Visually it is interesting, as the director puts each philosopher in a different setting: walking in a park, rowing a boat, riding in the back of a cab, etc. (I don't understand the other reviewer who didn't like the cinematography.) Zizek, of course, was filmed amidst mounds of modern garbage.

When you have to read these guys in school, you are treated the way I suppose a young Talmudic student is, who has to accept the great thought or go to hell.* But listening to them here, seeing their personality, their vulnerability and their quirks, it stimulated me greatly, and made me feel I could enter the conversation.

This movie helps democratize philosophy, and I think there will be a lot more: digital cameras are so abundant and my guess is philosophers are like poets, they work for cheap. Thanks for reading.

*(you can, in school, of course, challenge the ideas, but it is much much much easier to go along with the program.)


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