Experimenter is based on the true story of famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, who in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans' willingness to obey by using electric shock. We follow Milgram, from meeting his wife Sasha through his controversial experiments that sparked public outcry.Written by
In one scene, Winona Ryder's character says she was invited to a party by someone named Saul Horowitz. Horowitz is Ryder's original last name. See more »
(around 10 min) When our leads are conversing at the party you can see a 2010 or newer Amana refrigerator in the kitchen with the freezer on the bottom. See more »
There was a time, I suspect, when men and women could give a fully human response to any situation, when we could be fully absorbed, in the world, as human beings, but more often now people don't get to see the whole situation but only some small part of it. There's a division of labour and people carry out small, narrow, specialised jobs and we can't act without some sort of direction from on high. I call this the agentic state. The individual yields to authority and in doing so becomes ...
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A cast credit: "Elephant in the Room: Minnie" See more »
Well acted, seemed like an experiment in film at times.
I am a completely ignorant of Stanley Milgram's and his work, I wasn't really sure what I was getting into when I picked this movie last night outside of knowing it was a biopic. I actually watched this film with friends and we were found ourselves talking about it long afterwards.
Peter Sarsgaard, does very well portraying the somewhat dispassionate and yet intelligent Milgram. There is a deep intelligence in this man, and a yearning to understand why we act the way we do when authority is imposed on ourselves, yet there is a severe emotional disconnect between implementing his experiments and discussing the fruits of his labor. When describing and explaining his work, he certainly does so in a very straightforward manner, but what the results say much about us as individuals and as a society. They certainly are noteworthy and it explains why he became such a noteworthy person in media and in the psychiatric world. Winona Ryder plays his loyal and supportive wife, who although may question his methods at times, certainly stands by his side throughout the events in this film. Several notable actors portray colleagues, participants, and other persons of interest throughout the film and add real talent and depth in the cast.
There were some film experiments going on in the film itself, in terms of direction and visual representation of ideas. Milgram directly addresses the audience at times, breaking the rules of the '4th wall' by acknowledging you directly at the beginning of the film. At other times he breaks mid scene to address you again. There is a visual representation of the 'elephant in the room' when he discusses difficult topics that explain some of his more controversial methods during the early 60's. A flat 2 dimensional backdrop was used when visiting his old colleague and mentor, perhaps to represent a dull and somewhat awkward afternoon tea with someone he may have actually despised. Some of these methods were interesting, but most felt like a juxtaposition for the rest of the movie that was filmed in a much more typical manner.
The questions raised by Migram's experiments are important ones. Why do we blindly follow orders? When do we take responsibility for our own actions? What percentage of people will say no and stand up to authority? His work had a common theme about human nature, and the results of which are somewhat disturbing and controversial to understand. They often display a dispassionate and often cruel side of ourselves, and that can be the most difficult answer to recognize.
An interesting film and worth your time if you are curious about his life and works.
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