(sub)Text: A Discussion of Todd Phillips’ Film ‘Joker’

Todd Phillips’ Joker has broken several box office records, received an eight-minute standing ovation at Cannes, and is inspiring tourists to dance down the steps of a lengthy stairway in Queens. The question is, “why?” Joker is not a typical comic book film. There are no explosions or any other sort of spectacle; no superpowers; and nothing of the forces of good triumphing  Continue Reading …

Bonus: (sub)Text #3: Spielberg’s “AI: Artificial Intelligence”: What Is It to Be Human? (Part One)

For Episode 3 of (sub)Text, Wes discusses Steven Spielberg's AI: Artificial Intelligence with David Kyle Johnson, philosophy professor at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how. You’ll find David's Great Courses  Continue Reading …

Ep. 190: Film Analysis: “mother!”

On Darren Aronofsky's philosophical 2017 film about humanity's relationship to nature. We discuss the philosophical content of the film (Gnosticism, anyone?) and explore the relation between meaning and the sensuous aspects of an artwork. Can a work be both allegorical and yet have fully fleshed out characters and the other elements that make a film feel real? This was a very  Continue Reading …

Episode 190: Film Analysis: “mother!” (Citizen Edition)

On Darren Aronofsky's philosophical 2017 film about humanity's relationship to nature. We discuss the philosophical content of the film (Gnosticism, anyone?) and explore the relation between meaning and the sensuous aspects of an artwork. Can a work be both allegorical and yet have fully fleshed out characters and the other elements that make a film feel real? This was a very  Continue Reading …

Art, Authenticity, and Film

The relationship among the aesthetic, cognitive, and ethical values of a single work of art or of art considered as a practice or an institution is the subject of much debate. Even if one accepts relatively uncontroversial definitions of each type of value—the value of a work of art as a work of art (aesthetic), the value of a work of art in providing knowledge (cognitive), and  Continue Reading …

TEASER-Episode 169: Analyzing Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (Part Two)

So you listened to part 1, did you, and you've let the suspense build? You heard and maybe read (in the episode description) the hints of Jacques Lacan and existentialism, but will a coherent analysis come together? Will you get a clear idea of what it means to say that "there is no sexual relationship" and know whether the depiction of sexuality in the film should really apply  Continue Reading …

Episode 169: Analyzing Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (Part One)

On the film Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock (1958) and articles analyzing it including Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975) and Robin Wood's "Vertigo" (1965). Hey folks: Part one, here, as always is just the first half of the conversation, but unlike for every previous part one, there will be no part two on the public feed. In a brazenly commercial move  Continue Reading …