Many critics agree that Joel and Ethan Coen are one of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmaking teams of the last three decades. Combining thoughtful eccentricity, wry humor, irony, and often brutal violence, the Coen brothers have crafted a style of filmmaking that pays tribute to classic American movie genres yet maintains a distinctly postmodern feel. Since arriving on the film scene, the Coens have amassed an impressive body of work that has garnered them critical acclaim and a devoted cult following. From Raising Arizona and Fargo to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and No Country for Old Men, the Coens have left an unmistakable imprint on Hollywood. The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers investigates philosophical themes in the works of these master filmmakers and also uses their movies as vehicles to explore fundamental concepts of philosophy. The contributing authors discuss concepts such as justice, the problem of interpretation, existential role-playing, the philosophy of comedy, the uncertainty principle, and the coldness of modernity. The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers is not just for die-hard Lebowski Fest attendees, but for anyone who enjoys big ideas on the big screen.

Author ,
Isbn 0813138698
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2008-12-12
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.” —Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.

Author Kathryn Schulz
Isbn 0061997935
Genre Psychology
Year 2010-06-08
Pages 416
Language English
File format PDF

Solomon Northup was born a free black man. He was kidnapped, tortured, and sold into slavery. For 12 years, he was kept in bondage as a slave in Louisiana--Twelve Years a Slave is his moving and raw account of survival and life as a slave. This edition includes the full book as well as a comprehensive companion with historical notes, character overview, themes overview, and chapter summaries.

Author Solomon Northup
Isbn 1629171050
Genre Fiction
Year 2013-10-05
Pages 400
Language English
File format PDF

Film noir is a classic genre characterized by visual elements such as tilted camera angles, skewed scene compositions, and an interplay between darkness and light. Common motifs include crime and punishment, the upheaval of traditional moral values, and a pessimistic stance on the meaning of life and on the place of humankind in the universe. Spanning the 1940s and 1950s, the classic film noir era saw the release of many of Hollywood’s best-loved studies of shady characters and shadowy underworlds, including Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Touch of Evil, and The Maltese Falcon. Neo-noir is a somewhat loosely defined genre of films produced after the classic noir era that display the visual or thematic hallmarks of the noir sensibility. The essays collected in The Philosophy of Neo-Noir explore the philosophical implications of neo-noir touchstones such as Blade Runner, Chinatown, Reservoir Dogs, Memento, and the films of the Coen brothers. Through the lens of philosophy, Mark T. Conard and the contributors examine previously obscure layers of meaning in these challenging films. The contributors also consider these neo-noir films as a means of addressing philosophical questions about guilt, redemption, the essence of human nature, and problems of knowledge, memory and identity. In the neo-noir universe, the lines between right and wrong and good and evil are blurred, and the detective and the criminal frequently mirror each other’s most debilitating personality traits. The neo-noir detective—more antihero than hero—is frequently a morally compromised and spiritually shaken individual whose pursuit of a criminal masks the search for lost or unattainable aspects of the self. Conard argues that the films discussed in The Philosophy of Neo-Noir convey ambiguity, disillusionment, and disorientation more effectively than even the most iconic films of the classic noir era. Able to self-consciously draw upon noir conventions and simultaneously subvert them, neo-noir directors push beyond the earlier genre’s limitations and open new paths of cinematic and philosophical exploration.

Author Mark Conard
Isbn 0813172306
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2007-01-05
Pages 222
Language English
File format PDF

J. G. Ballard self-professedly 'devoured' the work of Freud as a teenager, and entertained early thoughts of becoming a psychiatrist; he opened his novel-writing career with a manifesto declaring his wish to write a science fiction exploring not outer but 'inner space', and declaring the need for contemporary fiction to be viewed 'as a branch of neurology'. He also apparently welcomed a reader's report on Crash (1973) condemning him as 'beyond psychiatric help' as confirming his achievement of 'total artistic success'. Samuel Francis investigates Ballard's engagement with psychology and the psychological in his fiction, tracing the influence of key figures including Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung and R.D. Laing and placing his work in the context of the wider fields of psychology and psychiatry. While the psychological preoccupations of his writing are very clear - including his use of concepts such as the unconscious, psychopathology, 'deviance', obsession, abnormal psychology and schizophrenia – this is the first book to offer a detailed analysis of this key conceptual and historical context for his fiction.

Author Samuel Francis
Isbn 1441141715
Genre Literary Criticism
Year 2011-11-03
Pages 210
Language English
File format PDF

In the course of fifty years, director Stanley Kubrick produced some of the most haunting and indelible images on film. His films touch on a wide range of topics rife with questions about human life, behavior, and emotions: love and sex, war, crime, madness, social conditioning, and technology. Within this great variety of subject matter, Kubrick examines different sides of reality and unifies them into a rich philosophical vision that is similar to existentialism. Perhaps more than any other philosophical concept, existentialism -- the belief that philosophical truth has meaning only if it is chosen by the individual -- has come down from the ivory tower to influence popular culture at large. In virtually all of Kubrick's films, the protagonist finds himself or herself in opposition to a hard and uncaring world, whether the conflict arises in the natural world or in human institutions. Kubrick's war films (Fear and Desire, Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, and Full Metal Jacket) examine how humans deal with their worst fears -- especially the fear of death -- when facing the absurdity of war. Full Metal Jacket portrays a world of physical and moral change, with an environment in continual flux in which attempting to impose order can be dangerous. The film explores the tragic consequences of an unbending moral code in a constantly changing universe. Essays in the volume examine Kubrick's interest in morality and fate, revealing a Stoic philosophy at the center of many of his films. Several of the contributors find his oeuvre to be characterized by skepticism, irony, and unfettered hedonism. In such films as A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick confronts the notion that we will struggle against our own scientific and technological innovations. Kubrick's films about the future posit that an active form of nihilism will allow humans to accept the emptiness of the world and push beyond it to form a free and creative view of humanity. Taken together, the essays in The Philosophy of Stanley Kubrick are an engaging look at the director's stark vision of a constantly changing moral and physical universe. They promise to add depth and complexity to the interpretation of Kubrick's signature films.

Author Jerold J. Abrams
Isbn 0813137195
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2007-05-04
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

Film noir reflects the fatalistic themes and visual style of hard-boiled novelists and many émigré filmmakers in 1940s and 1950s America, emphasizing crime, alienation, and moral ambiguity. In The Philosophy of TV Noir, Steven M. Sanders and Aeon J. Skoble argue that the legacy of film noir classics such as The Maltese Falcon, Kiss Me Deadly, and The Big Sleep is also found in episodic television from the mid-1950s to the present. In this first-of-its-kind collection, contributors from philosophy, film studies, and literature raise fundamental questions about the human predicament, giving this unique volume its moral resonance and demonstrating why television noir deserves our attention. The introduction traces the development of TV noir and provides an overview and evaluation of the book's thirteen essays, each of which discusses an exemplary TV noir series. Realism, relativism, and integrity are discussed in essays on Dragnet, Naked City, The Fugitive, and Secret Agent. Existentialist themes of authenticity, nihilism, and the search for life's meaning are addressed in essays on Miami Vice, The Sopranos, Carnivale, and 24. The methods of crime scene investigation in The X-Files and CSI are examined, followed by an exploration of autonomy, selfhood, and interpretation in The Prisoner, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Millennium. With this focus on the philosophical dimensions of crime, espionage, and science fiction series, The Philosophy of TV Noir draws out the full implications of film noir and establishes TV noir as an art form in its own right.

Author Steven Sanders,Aeon J. Skoble
Isbn 0813181569
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2021-03-17
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

Leonard Bernstein's gifts for drama and connecting with popular audiences made him a central figure in twentieth century American music. Though a Bernstein work might reference anything from modernism to cartoon ditties, jazz permeated every part of his musical identity as a performer, educator, and intellectual. Katherine Baber investigates how jazz in its many styles served Bernstein as a flexible, indeed protean, musical idea. As she shows, Bernstein used jazz to signify American identity with all its tensions and contradictions and to articulate community and conflict, irony and parody, and timely issues of race and gender. Baber provides a thoughtful look at how Bernstein's use of jazz grew out of his belief in the primacy of tonality, music's value as a unique form of human communication, and the formation of national identity in music. She also offers in-depth analyses of On the Town, West Side Story, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and other works to explore fascinating links between Bernstein's art and issues like eclecticism, music's relationship to social engagement, black-Jewish relations, and his own musical identity.

Author Katherine Baber
Isbn 0252051211
Genre Music
Year 2019-03-16
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

In the twilight of glittering, shameless New York, the most famous chronicler of eighties society was columnist Libby Alexander—a.k.a. The Pimpernel. She was the all-perceiving eye among the citizens of a gilded arena. Now New York is in the grip of a new seriousness. Each day brings more reports of failures, crack-ups, breakups, and bankruptcies. The sudden money is suddenly gone. It’s the low-key nineties, and Libby’s subjects are fleeing their old habits and excesses. Libby is in trouble—no society means no story. But when Jack and Veronica Kahn come to town, the lavish games begin again. Unrepentantly rich and free, they create their own social whirl. As their columnist of choice, Libby is at the center—perfectly situated to bring the beautiful Veronica together with the elusive and glamorous man who suddenly appears from her past. Following them through a season of New York high life, Libby sees the depth of the troubles that lie behind their dazzling façade. Libby and her subjects learn that the past can never really be reclaimed. They are all creatures of habit. In a wickedly funny and unforgettable voice, Julie Baumgold takes us into a New York that functions like a small town, with the same faces and the most guarded secrets turning up all the time. It is a world where ruin and redemption may seem limited to matters of finance but, in the end, have their most lasting effects in the realm of the heart. And it is a world that the author makes her own in this keen-sighted and terrifically entertaining novel.

Author Julie Baumgold
Isbn 0307800415
Genre Fiction
Year 2011-12-07
Pages 293
Language English
File format PDF

Academy Award--winning director Martin Scorsese is one of the most significant American filmmakers in the history of cinema. Although best known for his movies about gangsters and violence, such as Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino, and Taxi Driver, Scorsese has addressed a much wider range of themes and topics in the four decades of his career. In The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese, an impressive cast of contributors explores the complex themes and philosophical underpinnings of Martin Scorsese's films. The essays concerning Scorsese's films about crime and violence investigate the nature of friendship, the ethics of vigilantism, and the nature of unhappiness. The authors delve deeply into the minds of Scorsese's tortured characters and explore how the men and women he depicts grapple with moral codes and their emotions. Several of the essays explore specific themes in individual films. The authors describe how Scorsese addresses the nuances of social mores and values in The Age of Innocence, the nature of temptation and self-sacrifice in The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead, and the complexities of innovation and ambition in The Aviator. Other chapters in the collection examine larger philosophical questions. In a world where everything can be interpreted as meaningful, Scorsese at times uses his films to teach audiences about the meaning in life beyond the everyday world depicted in the cinema. For example, his films touching on religious subjects, such as Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ, allow the director to explore spiritualism and peaceful ways of responding to the chaos in the world.Filled with penetrating insights on Scorsese's body of work, The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese shows the director engaging with many of the most basic questions about our humanity and how we relate to one another in a complex world.

Author Mark T. Conard
Isbn 0813137160
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2007-05-31
Pages 280
Language English
File format PDF

The climate emergency is intensifying, while international responses continue to falter. In Climate Change and the Nation State, Anatol Lieven outlines a revolutionary approach grounded in realist thinking. This involves redefining climate change as an existential threat to nation states - which it is - and mobilizing both national security elites and mass nationalism. He condemns Western militaries for neglecting climate change and instead prioritizing traditional but less serious threats. Lieven reminds us that nationalism is the most important force in motivating people to care about the wellbeing of future generations. The support of nationalism is therefore vital to legitimizing the sacrifices necessary to limit climate change and surviving and the effects of it (some of which are now inevitable). This will require greatly strengthened social and national solidarity across lines of class and race. Throughout, Lieven draws on historical examples to show how nationalism has helped enable past movements to implement progressive social reform. Lieven strongly supports plans for a "Green New Deal" in the USA and Europe. In order to implement and maintain such changes, however, it will be necessary to create dominant national consensuses like those that enabled and sustained the original New Deal and welfare states in Europe. Lieven criticizes sections of the environmentalist left for hindering this by their hostility to national interests, their utopian political naiveté, their advancement of divisive cultural agendas, and their commitment to open borders. Radical and timely, Climate Change and the Nation State is an essential contribution to the debate on how to deal with a climatic crisis that if unchecked will threaten the survival of Western democracies and every organized human society.

Author Anatol Lieven
Isbn 0190090200
Genre Political Science
Year 2020-03-02
Pages 240
Language English
File format PDF

A witty, urbane, and sometimes shocking debut novel, set in a hallowed New York museum, in which a co-worker's disappearance and a mysterious map change a life forever Stella Krakus, a curator at Manhattan's renowned Central Museum of Art, is having the roughest week in approximately ever. Her soon-to-be ex-husband (the perfectly awful Whit Ghiscolmbe) is stalking her, a workplace romance with "a fascinating, hyper-rational narcissist" is in freefall, and a beloved colleague, Paul, has gone missing. Strange things are afoot: CeMArt's current exhibit is sponsored by a Belgian multinational that wants to take over the world's water supply, she unwittingly stars in a viral video that's making the rounds, and her mother--the imperious, impossibly glamorous Caro--wants to have lunch. It's almost more than she can overanalyze. But the appearance of a mysterious map, depicting a 19th-century utopian settlement, sends Stella--a dogged expert in American graphics and fluidomanie (don't ask)--on an all-consuming research mission. As she teases out the links between a haunting poem, several unusual novels, a counterfeiting scheme, and one of the museum's colorful early benefactors, she discovers the unbearable secret that Paul's been keeping, and charts a course out of the chaos of her own life. Pulsing with neurotic humor and dagger-sharp prose, Impossible Views of the World is a dazzling debut novel about how to make it through your early thirties with your brain and heart intact.

Author Lucy Ives
Isbn 0735221545
Genre Fiction
Year 2017-08-01
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

Twelve-year-old Rose Brutigan has grown seven inches in the last eight months. She’s always been different from her twin brother, Thomas, but now she towers over him in too many ways. The gap in their interests continues to widen as well. Musically talented Rose is focused on winning the upcoming Bach Cello Suites Competition, while happy-go-lucky Thomas has taken up the challenge of growing a giant pumpkin in the yard of their elderly neighbor, Mr. Pickering. But when a serious accident changes the course of the summer, Rose is forced to grow and change in ways she never could have imagined. Along the way there’s tap dancing and classic musicals, mail-order worms and neighborhood-sourced compost, fresh-squeezed lemonade, the Minnesota State Fair — and an eclectic cast of local characters that readers will fall in love with.

Author Melanie Heuiser Hill
Isbn 0763697176
Genre Juvenile Fiction
Year 2017-09-12
Pages 448
Language English
File format PDF

This New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, is "hilarious . . . a riotous success. Equal parts campus novel, buddy comedy and meditation on art-making under late capitalism, the novel is a hugely funny portrait of an egomaniac and his nebbish best friend" (The Washington Post). It’s the end of summer 2003. George W. Bush has recently declared the mission in Iraq accomplished, the unemployment rate is at its highest in years, and Martha Stewart has just been indicted for insider trading. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midwest, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) step out of a silver Land Cruiser and onto the campus of The Seminars, America’s most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry. Loudermilk, however, has never written a poem in his life. Wickedly entertaining, beguiling, layered, and sly, Loudermilk is a social novel for our time: a comedy of errors that deftly examines class, gender, and inheritance, and subverts our pieties about literature, authorship, art making, and the institutions that sustain them.

Author Lucy Ives
Isbn 1593763921
Genre Fiction
Year 2019-05-07
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

A Guardian Book of the Week Longlisted for the PEN / E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award An award-winning physician and scientist makes the game-changing case that genetic females are stronger than males at every stage of life Here are some facts: Women live longer than men. They have stronger immune systems. They're better at fighting cancer and surviving famine, and even see the world in a wider variety of colors. They are simply stronger than men at every stage of life. Why is this? And why are we taught the opposite? To find out, Dr. Sharon Moalem drew on his own medical experiences - treating premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit; recruiting the elderly for neurogenetic studies; tending to HIV-positive orphans in Thailand - and tried to understand why in every instance men were consistently less likely to thrive. The answer, he discovered, lies in our genetics: two X chromosomes offer a powerful survival advantage. With clear, captivating prose that weaves together eye-opening research, case studies, diverse examples ranging from the behavior of honeybees to American pioneers, as well as experiences from his personal life and his own patients, Moalem explains why genetic females triumph over males when it comes to resiliency, intellect, stamina, immunity and much more. He also calls for a reconsideration of our male-centric, one-size-fits-all view of medical studies and even how we prescribe medications - a view that still sees women through the lens of men. Revolutionary and yet utterly convincing, The Better Half will make you see humanity and the survival of our species anew.

Author Dr. Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD
Isbn 1250174791
Genre Science
Year 2020-04-07
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

The science fiction genre maintains a remarkable hold on the imagination and enthusiasm of the filmgoing public, captivating large audiences worldwide and garnering ever-larger profits. Science fiction films entertain the possibility of time travel and extraterrestrial visitation and imaginatively transport us to worlds transformed by modern science and technology. They also provide a medium through which questions about personal identity, moral agency, artificial consciousness, and other categories of experience can be addressed. In The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film, distinguished authors explore the storylines, conflicts, and themes of fifteen science fiction film classics, from Metropolis to The Matrix. Editor Steven M. Sanders and a group of outstanding scholars in philosophy, film studies, and other fields raise science fiction film criticism to a new level by penetrating the surface of the films to expose the underlying philosophical arguments, ethical perspectives, and metaphysical views. Sanders’s introduction presents an overview and evaluation of each essay and poses questions for readers to consider as they think about the films under discussion.The first section, “Enigmas of Identity and Agency,” deals with the nature of humanity as it is portrayed in Blade Runner, Dark City, Frankenstein, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Total Recall. In the second section, “Extraterrestrial Visitation, Time Travel, and Artificial Intelligence,” contributors discuss 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Terminator, 12 Monkeys, and The Day the Earth Stood Still and analyze the challenges of artificial intelligence, the paradoxes of time travel, and the ethics of war. The final section, “Brave Newer World: Science Fiction Futurism,” looks at visions of the future in Metropolis, The Matrix, Alphaville, and screen adaptations of George Orwell’s 1984.

Author Steven Sanders
Isbn 0813172810
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2007-12-14
Pages 240
Language English
File format PDF

Without question, few directors have had such a powerful influence on the film industry and the moviegoing public as Steven Spielberg. Often referred to as the most successful American filmmaker of all time, Spielberg has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director six times, winning twice -- for Schindler's List in 1994 and Saving Private Ryan in 1999. Seven of his films have received the Best Picture Oscar nomination. He has brought to life some of the most popular heroes of all time, such as Indiana Jones, as well as some of the most despised villains, including Amon Goeth from Schindler's List and the killer shark from Jaws. Whatever the subject -- dinosaurs, war, extra-terrestrials, slavery, the Holocaust, or terrorism -- one clear and consistent touchstone is present in all of Spielberg's films: an interest in the human condition. In Steven Spielberg and Philosophy, Dean A. Kowalski and some of the nation's most respected philosophers investigate Spielberg's art to illuminate the nature of humanity. The book explores rich themes such as cinematic realism, fictional belief, terrorism, family ethics, consciousness, virtue and moral character, human rights, and religion in Spielberg's work. Avid moviegoers and deep thinkers will discover plenty of common ground in this collection.

Author Dean A. Kowalski
Isbn 0813138701
Genre Philosophy
Year 2008-11-21
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF