Saturday, October 23, 2010

The morning coffee: Some interesting tidbits on film and philosophy

Sit back, fill your cup and take in the bitter, delicious aroma of the sacred bean as we look at some interesting tidbits from the world of film and philosophy.

1)  Devin Faraci, he of CHUD fame, is writing on a new website called BadAss Digest, a wonderful name for a film publication, if you ask me. We are still courting a local aesthete and Action/Kung Fu expert to write a regular column for Light Within Light on BadAss cinema, but until then check out what Devin and co. have to say. 

The first thing that caught my notice on the Bad Ass Digest was this wonderful picture of Mel Gibson from a few years back. The picture was a perfect accompaniment with my morning coffee so I'm hereby sharing it with you, dear reader.

2) The good folks at Dark Horizons recently reported that Johnny Depp has been courting Pirates of the Caribbean: Title I can't Remember (Part IV: Electric Boogaloo or How I learned How to Stop Worrying Over Planes Trains And Automobiles) director Rob Marshall to join him for a remake of the classic and impossibly groovy The Thin Man. We here at Light Within Light are usually not big fans of remakes, reboots and recombobulations of any sort but I must admit that I find the idea of another go at Dashiell Hammett's classic novel not altogether unappealing, especially with Depp in the role of Nick Charles. The original is one of my all-time favorite films, a perfect blend of comedy and suspense with one of the screens greatest romantic matchups in William Powell as Nick Charles and Myrna Loy as his wife Nora. 

Depp would definitely make a wonderful debonair drunk (frankly, he probably wouldn't have to act a great deal) although much of the success of the film would depend on finding a female lead that could express some of the playfulness and cool that made Myrna Loy's original performance such a classic. The script would have to be very smart and loose too. It would certainly be a breath of fresh air if a funny, well-written detective film that focuses on characters and dialogue became even moderately successful. Imagine, an entertaining Hollywood film made for adults with no CGI, superheroes or robots. And no 3d! It boggles the mind. 

3) I am giving a lecture on the connection between film and philosophy at Marquette University this week and have been doing some research for the talk, including revisiting some of the classic works of American philosopher Stanley Cavell. Cavell is a wonderful scholar who has written several fascinating books on the philosophical import of film. His main contribution to these studies has been to point out that films are not limited to illustrating philosophical issues or topics (although they can do that perfectly well, the most famous - and irritating - example being a film like The Matrix) but  that they can actually do philosophy by revealing layers of truth and meaning that more systematic approaches could not. 

In researching Cavell I came upon this interesting interview with him from the American television program"Conversations With History." It is rather long, about an hour, but for those interested in film and philosophy it is a very interesting program. 

That's it for now. Stay tuned for some upcoming reviews, including a discussion of a little-known yet great 70's film starring James Coburn and written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins (yes... that's right... that Anthony Perkins). Until then, adios. 

1 comment:

Reido Bandito said...

the crazier Mel gets, the more I kind of like him.