Examined Life (2008)
The New York Times reports filmmakers Laura Poitras (“The Oath”), Zach Levy (“Strongman”) and Astra Taylor (“Examined Life”) have petitioned a letter to festival organizers voicing their disappointment and opposition to the sponsor. The open letter states:
We are troubled to learn that the festival has allowed Brookfield Properties to be one of its major sponsors this year and that multiple advertising trailers for Brookfield play in preshow programs.
Given Brookfield’s role in evicting the Occupy movement from Zuccotti Park, Brookfield hardly seems an appropriate sponsor for any festival that aspires to support new creative and cultural ideas. The company should not be given such a high-profile platform to help re-brand themselves as supporters of artistic expression and free speech.
And via Ray Pride, Nowness meets Lynch in Paris to chat about Club Silencio, buried "six flights below ground level at 142 rue Montmartre": "Accessed through a glittering tunnel leading off the cocktail bar, Silencio has an art deco cinema, reflective dance floor, a Fire Walk With Me-style stage, and a 50s art library featuring a selection of the director's most treasured books from Kafka to Dostoevsky — not to mention
In an age of instant punditry, 24/7 Twitter updates, and political discourse that seems to discourage careful reflection, an all-star panel at The New School will ask Does Philosophy Still Matter?, marking the publication of Nssr Professor James Miller’s new book, Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). Panelists include Simon Critchley, professor of philosophy at The New School for Social Research and author of The Book of Dead Philosophers; Anthony Gottlieb, author of The Dream of Reason, a three-volume history of philosophy; James Miller, professor of political science and chair of the Committee on Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research; Astra Taylor, independent filmmaker and director of Zizek!
There was Casey and her place in law school, Ashleigh and her future, Rusty regarding Dale pledging, and Calvin and Cappie in philosophy class.
I always love seeing odd pairings of characters, with Cappie and Calvin being no exception. Watching these two stoned was hilarious, but also brought some serious conversations to the table.
As for Dana’s murder mystery dinner party... what can I say? I personally have never attended one of these, and can't say this made me want to. Themed parties in college are supposed to be fun and different, not sure if mystery theater in an apartment qualifies.
Now to the highlight of the night: Ashleigh is back!!! Who cares if she got fired, quit, or left. How great does she look with that super straight and shiny hair?
Jason SolomonsXan BrooksJason Phipps
Early in the film Examined Life, literary theorist Avital Ronell asks the director Astra Taylor, "What are you getting me into here?" A pertinent question, because Taylor's new documentary makes for a grim outline: eight philosophers talking for 10 minutes each on anything from theories of justice to cosmopolitanism. The nearest we get to a car chase is a long, sweaty drive in an old Volvo to a lecture hall.
What it is, however, is an enjoyable experiment: moral philosophy – the motion picture. After all, your multiplex is more likely to show scenes of teenage devil worship than someone thinking. Film-makers have good reasons to avoid contemplation. For one thing, it is not a pretty business. As Oscar Wilde observed: "The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead,
In "Examined Life," she interviews nine "influential thinkers" on the meaning of it all - and she averts what could have been a snoozefest of historic proportions.
Her secret? Each subject is taken to a colorful public spot and given 10 minutes to pontificate. One strolls down Fifth Avenue, another pilots a rowboat in Central Park, a third rides in the back seat of
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"An American Affair"
We're a country enamored with the marvels of our great democracy while also continuing a nasty habit of cultivating political dynasties, the thrall of which we continue to find irresistible, and there is no finer example of that than the Kennedy family. Put out by tiny indie distributor Screen Media Films, this feature from director William Olsson charts the coming of age of a young boy named Adam (Cameron Bright) who watches and wonders about John F. Kennedy's affair with a woman (Gretchen Mol) living across the street in 1963.
Opens in limited release.
To say that the films of 29-year-old documentarian Astra Taylor are thought-provoking is not such a lofty compliment; it's literally the goal she has in marrying cinema with philosophy. 2005's "Žižek!" trailed Slovenian psychoanalyst, philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek around the world as he expounded on ideology and made eccentric observations on love, revolution and his own self-critique. Taylor's latest feature, "Examined Life," is no less absorbing, an intelligent yet accessible anthology of ideas that sees eight highly influential thinkers of our time (including Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Michael Hardt -- and yes, the wild and wooly Žižek) pontificating while taking walks through modern culture. Kwame Anthony Appiah talks cosmopolitanism from inside an airport, Žižek dissects ecology while digging through a garbage facility and Cornel West compares philosophy to jazz and blues while being driven around the streets of Manhattan by the director herself. When Taylor
- A couple of months after premiering at Toronto International film festival, the documentary film pick ups are continuing to pile in for many film distribs, and after several months of inactivity, NY-based foreign film/documentary distributor Zeitgeist Films has picked up Astra TaylorAstra Taylor
Sergei Dvortsevoy's comedy "Tulpan" follows its protagonist's efforts to convince the title character he's an ideal catch and to show his family he's a good shepherd. The recent New York Film Festival selection is this year's official foreign-language Oscar entry from Kazakhstan.
Astra Taylor's doc "Life" follows such noted academics as Cornel West and Peter Singer outside their classrooms to visit and discuss places of significance to them.
"Life" will open at the IFC Center in January, and "Tulpan" will bow at the Film Forum in April. The New York openings will be followed by limited theatrical rollouts.
The "Tulpan" deal was negotiated with Match Factory's Michael Weber, and the "Life" deal was negotiated with Sphinx Prods.
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