Examined Life (2008) - News Poster

(2008)

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A Japanese Sideways, Virginia Woolf, Beth Gibbons Sings Black Sabbath and Denis Johnson’s Artful Sentences: Sunday Morning Links

For your Sunday morning, here’s some of what I’ve been reading this past week. At the Rumpus, filmmaker (and 25 New Face) Astra Taylor is interviewed about her book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, which I can’t wait to read. An excerpt: Also, after Examined Life was finished I found myself thinking about the way creative opportunities and distribution channels were shifting. Should I be showing my films in theaters or just think about getting them out online? There were other issues, too. For example, instead of being asked to write an article, […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

A Japanese Sideways, Virginia Woolf, Beth Gibbons Sings Black Sabbath and Denis Johnson’s Artful Sentences: Sunday Morning Links

For your Sunday morning, here’s some of what I’ve been reading this past week. At the Rumpus, filmmaker (and 25 New Face) Astra Taylor is interviewed about her book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, which I can’t wait to read. An excerpt: Also, after Examined Life was finished I found myself thinking about the way creative opportunities and distribution channels were shifting. Should I be showing my films in theaters or just think about getting them out online? There were other issues, too. For example, instead of being asked to write an article, […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Controversial Tribeca Sponsor Sparks Outrage From Ows Supporters

Controversial Tribeca Sponsor Sparks Outrage From Ows Supporters
Several filmmakers and Occupy Wall Street supporters are criticizing the Tribeca Film Festival for its inclusion of Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zuccotti Park, as a sponsor for this year's events.

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.
See full article at Huffington Post »

Daily Briefing. Lynch, Wenders, Herzog

  • MUBI
"The late writer David Foster Wallace defined the word 'Lynchian' as referring to 'a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former's perpetual containment within the latter.' And this seems a pretty accurate description of my morning at Lynch's house." Craig McLean's conversation with Lynch for the Telegraph about teeth for quite a while before it eventually steers to the new album, Crazy Clown Time.

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
See full article at MUBI »

Does Philosophy Still Matter?

A rainy today like today’s in New York is a good time to ask yourself, “Does philosophy still matter?” Below is the complete video from last week’s sold out event at the New School. From their blog:

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!
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Greek Review: The Return of Ashleigh!

  • TVfanatic
The latest installment of Greek, “Cross Examined Life,” featured our favorite characters asking questions and exploring their current situations.

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?
See full article at TVfanatic »

Film Weekly on Bunny and the Bull and Examined Life

In this week's edition, Jason Solomons talks to Mighty Boosh director Paul King about his debut comedy, Bunny and the Bull, nominated for "most imaginative first feature" at the London film festival. He meets Astra Taylor whose documentary Examined Life takes eight leading philosophers on to the streets to enlighten us with their big ideas and is joined by Xan Brooks to discuss the week's releases – César-sweeper Séraphine, box-office phenomenon Paranormal Activity and Jamie Foxx v Gerard Butler vigilante thriller Law Abiding Citizen.

Jason SolomonsXan BrooksJason Phipps
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Brain food: philosophy hits the big screen

Can Examined Life, a movie featuring nothing but philosophers talking, really be an enjoyable cinematic experience. Surprisingly, yes

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,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

School's Out: Astra Taylor On The Unschooled Life

Filmmaker Astra Taylor (Examined Life) gave the debut Artist Talk for the Walker Art Center's "Raising Creative Kids" series. The series is described as an initiative "designed to make the Walker a destination and resource for families and parents wanting to creatively engage their children." Here's their description of the talk: Raised by independent-thinking bohemian parents, Taylor was unschooled until age 13. Join the filmmaker as she shares her personal experiences of growing up home-schooled without a curriculum or schedule, and how it has shaped her educational philosophy and development as an artist. And, it is embedded below:
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Director, Producer Enter Nicholson's Home Adaptation

Scott Nicholson, author of the novel "The Home," informed us the rights for that novel have been optioned by producer Lea Marin. Sean Frewer is on board to direct. Marin has an extensive background in documentaries, producing Twelve , Examined Life and the Discovery Channel series Mega Builders . If The Home comes to fruition, it would mark Frewer's feature debut. In the novel, experimental treatments on troubled children bring back the spirits of the home's former occupants. "The Home" was published in 2005.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

Astra Taylor, Examined Life

Cornel West In Director Astra Taylor'S Examined Life. Courtesy Zeitgeist Films. Still in her twenties, documentarian Astra Taylor has already brought a philosophical bent to non-fiction filmmaking and is looking to push the form in new and exciting directions. Taylor was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1979 and grew up in Athens, Georgia. She studied first at the University of Georgia and then got an Ma in sociology, philosophy and cultural theory at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2001, she co-produced and co-directed the 45-minute documentary Miracle Tree: Moringa Oleifera, about infant malnutrition in Senegal, and the following year acted as associate producer on another doc, Allison Maclean's Persons of Interest...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Critics Consensus: Jonas Brothers Fizzles

This week at the movies, we've got teenybop pop (Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience, starring Jonas Brothers) and a video game adaptation (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (starring Kristin Kreuk and Michael Clarke Duncan). Plus, we've got an offbeat take on the tale of the Three Wise Men (Birdsong), a death penalty doc (Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead), some philosophical discussions (Examined Life, featuring Cornel West and Slavoj Zizek), and indie relationship comedy (The Trouble with Romance) a coming-of-age conspiracy flick (An American Affair, starring Gretchen Mol), and an immigration drama (Crossing Over, starring Harrison Ford and Ashley...
See full article at Rotten Tomatoes »

Examined Life: Astra Taylor Interview

  • Spout
In her second feature length documentary Examined Life, which opens today at IFC Center, Canadian born, Georgia bred documentarian Astra Taylor whips around the Tri-State area and beyond with eight of the planet’s most renown contemporary philosophers and probes their ever active brains for answers to questions large and small, elemental and abstract. Engaging a diverse and eclectic group of lauded philosophers and/or public intellectuals to step away from the Ivory Tower and into airports and lakesides, Tompkins Square Park and quaint row boats, Taylor’s subjects include Martha Nussbaum, Avital Rennel, Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Judith Butle ...
See full article at Spout »

Public Displays Of Reflection

You have to hand it to filmmaker Astra Taylor. She knows how to take the dullness out of talking heads, the mainstay (and downfall) of countless documentaries.

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
See full article at New York Post »

Between Thought And Expression

Okay, here's a pull quote you won't often get from me: this film is good for your soul. I'm referring to Astra Taylor's Examined Life, which opens tomorrow at the IFC Center in New York and which is so engaging, hopeful and against-the-grain that it becomes a must-see cinematic tonic for these confusing times. Examined Life is Taylor's documentary about the related acts of thinking and walking. Using the history of mobile thought as her springboard (for more on this, read Rebecca Solnit's Wanderlust), Taylor (pictured) follows eight philosophers as they stroll through their hometown environments engaging in a series of ethical dialogues about the act of living in this world. The film is heady but by no means dry. There's abundant...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Philosophers, Street Fighters and the Jonas Brothers

  • IFC
This week's offerings include an art film about the biblical, a documentary exploring the philosophical, a thriller espousing the dangers of the technological and a film about a badass dude with claws that kills people. We know which one we're going to see.

Download this in audio form (MP3: 7:14 minutes, 10 Mb)

"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.
See full article at IFC »

Astra Taylor Explains the "Examined Life"

  • IFC
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 and I met up over coffee in Williamsburg,
See full article at IFC »

Interview: Astra Taylor on "Examined Life"

  • IFC
By Aaron Hillis

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
See full article at IFC »

Zeitgeist takes stroll in the park with ‘Examined Life'

  • 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
[/link]'s latest doc offering which once again visits with Slavoj Zizek with whom she had visited in Zizek!. Commencing its theater play in January at the IFC Center, Examined Life features the “rock star” philosophers of our time, including Cornel West, Peter Singer, Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Avital Ronell, Michael Hardt, Anthony Appiah and Martha Nussbaum. This interweaves fascinating “walks” with them through places that hold special resonance for them and their ideas -- crowded city streets, deserted alleyways, Central Park and even a garbage dump. ...
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Zeitgeist to carry 'Tulpan,' 'Life'

Zeitgeist to carry 'Tulpan,' 'Life'
New York -- Zeitgeist Films has nabbed domestic rights to a pair of prestige pics: "Tulpan," this past May's Festival de Cannes Un Certain Regard winner, and the Toronto film fest academia documentary "Examined Life."

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.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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