×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life
     

Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life

by Alan A. Stone
 

See All Formats & Editions

For Alan Stone, a one-time Freudian analyst and former president of the American Psychiatric Society, movies are the great modern, democratic medium for exploring our individual and collective lives. They provide occasions for reflecting on what he calls "the moral adventure of life": the choices people make--beyond the limits of their character and circumstances--in

Overview

For Alan Stone, a one-time Freudian analyst and former president of the American Psychiatric Society, movies are the great modern, democratic medium for exploring our individual and collective lives. They provide occasions for reflecting on what he calls "the moral adventure of life": the choices people make--beyond the limits of their character and circumstances--in response to life's challenges. The quality of these choices is, for him, the measure of a life well lived. In this collection of his film essays, Stone reads films as life texts. He is engaged more by their ideas than their visual presentation, more by their power to move us than by their commercial success. Stone writes about both art films and big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. And he commands an extraordinary range of historical, literary, cultural, and scientific reference that reflects his impressive personal history: professor of law and medicine, football player at Harvard in the late 1940s, director of medical training at McLean Hospital, and advisor to Attorney General Janet Reno on behavioral science. In the end, Stone's enthusiasms run particularly to films that embrace the sheer complexity of life, and in doing so enlarge our sense of human possibilities: in Antonia's Line, he sees an emotionally vivid picture of a world beyond patriarchy; in Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, the power of sheer contingency in human life; and in American Beauty, how beauty in ordinary experience draws us outside ourselves, and how beauty and justice are distinct goods, with no intrinsic connection. Other films discussed in these essays (written between 1993 and 2006 for Boston Review) include Un Coeur en Hiver, Schindler's List, Pulp Fiction, Thirteen Days, the 1997 version of Lolita, The Battle of Algiers, The Passion of the Christ, Persuasion, and Water. Alan A. Stone is Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law and Psychiatry at Harvard University and a former president of the American Psychiatric Society.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... our good news is that Alan A. Stone is here now and a discovery to rejoice at, a welcome addition to the sparse regiment of worthwhile film writers." David Thomson latimes.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262261180
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/17/2007
Series:
Boston Review Books
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
386 KB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"This brilliant book is like that ideal conversation after a movie. Few critics have Alan Stone"s moral, psychological, and spiritual subtlety, or even his patience and scope. With his psychologist"s eye for complex elemental human relationships, Stone is an inspired guide through the American and foreign film world. I wanted to watch, or watch again, every movie in this book."Elaine Scarry , author of On Beauty

Meet the Author

Alan A. Stone is Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law and Psychiatry at Harvard University and a former president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews