Features Film Lists Games Most Philosophical Movie Masterpieces of All Time

The 10 Most Philosophical Movie Masterpieces of All Time « Taste of Cinema

visually stunning sci-fi movies

visually stunning sci-fi movies

“Philosophical” is a phrase used so generally that its definition deserves frequent reinforcement. The phrase philosophy itself is shaped from two Greek phrases: philo, which means “love” and sophia which means “wisdom”. Because the love of knowledge, philosophy encompasses excess of a set of private opinions and complex psychological gymnastics. Asking extra questions than it solutions, true philosophy isn’t pedantic and should not all the time appear profound.

In the identical means, a movie might be philosophical to the extent that it aspires towards a love of knowledge and evokes in us the identical love. A blade of grass might level one towards philosophy as readily a photo voltaic system, and a movie can do the identical, offered that the medium by no means obscures its message. Many of the good filmmakers have been philosophers at coronary heart who used their craft as a software to additional their very own – and others’ – understanding of life.

This listing considers ten of probably the most philosophical movies, and suggests a corresponding thinker whose worldview intersects at factors with the film’s message. Clearly most weren’t alive through the age of cinema, but when these philosophers had made movies, maybe they might have seemed somewhat like these.


1. The Human Situation

The Human Condition (1959-1961)

Whose philosophy is greatest represented by this film? Leo Tolstoy:

“As soon as men live entirely in accord with [the love] natural to their hearts…and therefore hold aloof from all participation in violence …not only will hundreds be unable to enslave millions, but not even millions will be able to enslave a single individual.”

This 9 ½ hour epic movie trilogy by the inimitable Takeru Kobayashi stands as a monumental achievement of each filmmaking and philosophical inquiry. A piercing cry towards all warfare and violence, The Human Situation follows a younger Japanese pacifist named Kaji as he struggles to navigate his approach by means of World Warfare II whereas sustaining his beliefs of nonviolence and equality.

All through the movie’s three elements (No Larger Love, Street to Eternity, and A Soldier’s Prayer), Kaji faces moral conflicts and harsh punishments because of his beliefs. His wrestle to reconcile his philosophical beliefs together with his honor and obligation as a soldier echoes the common paradox confronted by all who aspire to stay authentically and persistently. It’s a timeless meditation on the character of the human situation, and an everlasting ode to peace.

Although many keep in mind Tolstoy primarily for his epic novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”, fewer are conscious that he spent the later years of his life as a die-hard pacifist. Although his retro views led to his excommunication from the Russian Orthodox Church, his writings on pacifism had a profound impact on such historic figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Tolstoy certainly would have admired the nonviolent rules of Kaji and supported the peaceable message of The Human Situation.


2. 2001: A Area Odyssey

2001 space odyssey

Whose philosophy is greatest represented by this film? Friedrich Nietzsche:

“What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment.” “Man is something that shall be overcome…. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman — a rope over an abyss… What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.”

Bookending this story of area exploration is a mirrored image on what people have been and a meditation on what they could but turn out to be. Following the arc of bodily evolution within the movie is the evolution of human intelligence from inside to with out to past.

Because the earliest primates as soon as found the instruments wanted to outlive, trendy science has now projected its information to extremely smart machines unbiased of human consciousness; from that disassociation is prophesied the likelihood that the identical intelligence might someday transcend itself and grow to be a very superhuman entity.

2001: A Area Odyssey has left us with a profound cinematic assertion that’s directly esoteric and humanistic. The very nature of its imaginative and prescient is certain to maintain it perennially related and galvanizing to future generations.

Don’t let popular culture or superficial summaries persuade you that Nietzsche was the patron saint of melancholy. Removed from it – for him, acknowledging hopelessness and despair was solely step one alongside the street to overcoming these limitations with power and pleasure. He certainly would have delighted in 2001: A Area Odyssey’s journey from ape to astronaut, and thrilled over its last leap from spaceman to astral entity, with people as merely the bridge between the extremes.

If additional convincing of the parallels between movie and thinker is required, keep in mind that the film’s musical theme is “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, the title of Nietzsche’s magnum opus.


three. Solaris

Whose philosophy is greatest represented by this film? Jiddu Krishnamurti:

“What one seeks is the projection of one’s own desire… To seek the proverbial needle in a haystack, there must already be knowledge of the needle… Finding is recognizing, and recognition is based on previous knowledge.” “What we can find by seeking is only the projection of the mind.”

Solaris is the identify of a distant planet the place psychologist Kris Kelvin has been despatched on an pressing, mysterious mission to go to an present area station. He arrives to seek out the small crew in a extremely unstable state, with one member having dedicated suicide and the opposite two in emotional turmoil.

Kelvin begins to suspect unusual happenings when he glimpses non-crew members aboard the station, however full panic erupts when his personal deceased spouse inexplicably seems in his interstellar sleeping quarters. His spouse has no concept how she acquired there, and although Kelvin initially tries to get rid of her, in time he grows reattached to her presence and units out to unravel the thriller.

Not often, if ever, did Krishnamurti attempt to persuade his viewers of any constructive fact; moderately, he labored backwards by systematically exposing what was not true till all falseness was dissolved. Likewise, Solaris has no apparent statements to make, however many profound ideas to trace at.

The full nature of the planet Solaris isn’t revealed, and the puzzling phenomena skilled by the crew are left open to interpretation. However Krishnamurti was eternally making an attempt to assist individuals perceive how their very own social and psychological conditioning coloured their perceptions of actuality, and he may need discovered commonality with Tarkovsky’s unflinching examination of the psyches of his characters. This thinker was truly alive when Solaris was launched, and whereas we might not know if he ever noticed the movie, one can dream…


four. The Serpent’s Egg

The Serpent's Egg

Whose philosophy is greatest represented by this film? Hannah Arendt:

“When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men and women stand as a vanguard against abuse.” “The sad truth of the matter is that most evil is done by people who never made up their minds to be or do either evil or good.”

The solely Hollywood movie by the good Ingmar Bergman has sharply divided audiences ever since its launch, however few would argue that its philosophical issues usually are not profound. The Serpent’s Egg focuses on Abel Rosenberg, an American Jew dwelling in 1920’s Germany who’s struggling to navigate life in post-war Berlin.

As his personal alcoholism wreaks havoc on his private life, Rosenberg begins to suspect much more sinister circumstances unfolding round him within the type of systematic human experimentation and poisoning.

By means of his drunken haze, he realizes that the lifeless our bodies piling up round him are greater than a coincidence. Actually, the movie reveals to us that the secretive killings and torture have been funded analysis by the identical events whose energy and evil would explode into the travesties of the Holocaust.

Hannah Arendt lived via the time of the horrific occasions portrayed in The Serpent’s Egg. Her philosophy and the movie’s message actually go hand in hand as highly effective rebukes to the rampant justification of evil and butchery that happened through the time after World Struggle I and main as much as World Conflict II.

Arendt’s writings on “the banality of evil” referred to as consideration to and lamented the truth that a lot of the killing and human experimentation that occurred was completed by individuals who believed that they have been doing the best factor, or serving a noble trigger. The incontrovertible fact that such tragedy was not stopped in its earliest levels, however moderately allowed to ripen into full maturity is a troublesome fact examined and mourned by each Bergman and Arendt.


5. Au Hasard Balthazar

Au Hasard Balthazar

Whose philosophy is greatest represented by this film? Arthur Schopenhauer:

“The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.” “Man is the only animal who causes pain to others with no other object than wanting to do so.”

Au Hasard Balthazar’s strategy to its philosophical themes is brilliantly distinctive. Director Robert Bresson selected to forged a donkey as the primary character, and to comply with its life from youth till demise. By contemplating a meek and passive animal, the movie starkly highlights the intentional cruelty inflicted by people on the beast Balthazar all through his life.

As Balthazar is handed from proprietor to proprietor he’s the topic of many beatings, and his incapability to defend himself appears to attract out the worst impulses within the individuals who dominate his life. It’s a heartbreaking however enlightening saga that rings tragically true, and forces the viewer to weigh the ugliness of human conduct towards that of the symbolically saintly Balthazar.

Few philosophers thought-about the character and plight of helpless beasts greater than Schopenhauer did, and few wrote forcefully concerning the morality manifested by one’s remedy of animals. He typically in contrast the virtues of people unfavorably to these of animals, and would little question have acknowledged Bresson’s’s examples of shameless human cruelty perpetrated upon the meek Balthazar.

As well as, Schopenhauer extolled the spirit of meekness as a trait in animals to which people ought to aspire. Bresson’s movie and Schopenhauer’s philosophy each level towards humility as an indication of maturity and a religious objective value attaining and sustaining in spite of the private hazards it might deliver.

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