Plato and Popcorn: A Philosopher's Guide to 75 Thought-Provoking Movies

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Many believe there is nothing like seeing a good movie, one that is enjoyable both in itself and for the thought processes it stimulates. From The Usual Suspects and When Harry Met Sally to Gandhi and The Color Purple, this handbook functions as a guide to watching and reflecting upon 75 great films. The author, a philosophy instructor, presents a text designed to lead readers through a series of intellectual gymnastics; to help strengthen critical thinking abilities and to inspire exciting and philosophical thoughts and discussions.

"Civil Disobedience", "Death", "Fate and Determinism", "War", "Sexism and Women's Issues", "Gay Rights", "The Greatest Happiness Principle", "Anxiety and Inauthenticity" and "The Holocaust" are examples of the 18 different categories into which the films are divided. Each chapter includes the author's introductory comments to be read prior to watching movies along with a section of "Questions to Ponder" to be considered afterward. Photographs of many movie scenes are included throughout the text.

About the Author
William G. Smith is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786418787
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/24/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William G. Smith is chair of the philosophy department at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

1 Did you ever think you knew something, but didn't? 5
Movie 1 Twelve angry men 9
Movie 2 The return of Martin Guerre 10
Movie 3 House of games 14
Movie 4 Rashomon 16
2 The greatest happiness principle 19
Movie 5 Abandon ship 23
Movie 6 The field 25
3 Doing one's duty 27
Movie 7 High noon 29
Movie 8 The road home 29
4 Anxiety and inauthenticity 32
Movie 9 Hannah and her sisters 33
Movie 10 My dinner with Andre 35
Movie 11 About Schmidt 38
5 Fate and determinism 42
Movie 12 Tess 45
Movie 13 Sliding doors 46
6 Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Tammy Faye and miscellaneous religious issues 48
Movie 14 The last temptation of Christ 48
Movie 15 The message 51
Movie 16 Little Buddha 53
Movie 17 The apostle 55
Movie 18 Breaking the waves 56
Movie 19 The eyes of Tammy Faye 58
Movie 20 The decalogue 59
7 The journey upward 67
Movie 21 Billy Elliot 69
Movie 22 Girlfight 70
Movie 23 The Truman show 72
Movie 24 The matrix 74
Movie 25 The color purple 78
8 Civil disobedience 81
Movie 26 Gattaca 82
Movie 27 Gandhi 84
9 Death 87
Movie 28 Shadowlands 87
Movie 29 Under the sand 89
Movie 30 Fearless 90
Movie 31 Whose life is it anyway? 92
Movie 32 Dead man walking 94
Movie 33 Resurrection 96
Movie 34 The seventh seal 99
10 War 104
Movie 35 The red badge of courage 105
Movie 36 Paths of glory 106
Movie 37 Saving Private Ryan 108
Movie 38 Full metal jacket 109
Movie 39 No man's land 112
11 Racism 115
Movie 40 The birth of a nation 116
Movie 41 Mississippi burning 117
Movie 42 American history X 119
Movie 43 Do the right thing 120
Movie 44 The long walk home 122
Movie 45 Imitation of life 123
12 The holocaust 126
Movie 46 Shoah 126
Movie 47 The pianist 129
Movie 48 Mr. Death 130
Movie 49 Life is beautiful 131
13 Sexism and women's issues 134
Movie 50 In the company of men 137
Movie 51 Thelma and Louise 138
Movie 52 Ladybird, ladybird 140
Movie 53 If these walls could talk - part I 142
Movie 54 Real women have curves 144
Movie 55 Artemisia 145
Movie 56 Whale rider 147
Movie 57 Daughters of the dust 148
14 Gay rights 152
Movie 58 Chasing Amy 153
Movie 59 If these walls could talk - part II 155
Movie 60 Philadelphia 156
Movie 61 The celluloid closet 157
15 Pornography 161
Movie 62 The people vs. Larry Flynt 162
Movie 63 The pornographer 164
16 Love, love, love 167
Movie 64 When Harry met Sally 167
Movie 65 East-west 169
Movie 66 The lover 171
Movie 67 The bridges of Madison County 172
Movie 68 Sidewalks of New York 173
Movie 69 Indecent proposal 174
Movie 70 Babette's feast 176
Movie 71 Pop and me 178
17 Puzzlers 183
Movie 72 The usual suspects 183
Movie 73 Memento 185
Movie 74 Mulholland Drive 186
18 The love of movies 189
Movie 75 Cinema paradiso 189
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