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Empathy Machines

Movie, Book, and Music Conversations

Month

December 2016

My List of Good and Great Movies

 

Independent Spirit  Movies: Art, Social Commentary, Realistic, Not Primarily Commercial, Not Mass Appeal:

CODE 46

IN AMERICA

JAPANESE STORY

EAGLE VS. SHARK

MIND THE GAP

OFF THE MAP

OFF THE BLACK

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

A SIMPLE PLAN

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

GATTACA

21 GRAMS

THERE WILL BE BLOOD

THE KING

MYSTIC RIVER

SLEEPERS

THE GIFT

MY FIRST MISTER

AMERICAN BEAUTY

MICHAEL CLAYTON

THE APOSTLE

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

JACKIE BROWN

GANGS OF NEW YORK

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

MY DINNER WITH ANDRE

LEAVING LAS VEGAS

THEY LIVE

THE BIG CHILL

LOST IN TRANSLATION

THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR

WINTER’S BONE

THE BIG KAHUNA

BEFORE SUNRISE

BEFORE SUNSET

MARY AND MAX

BLOW

LITTLE CHILDREN

THE STATION AGENT

NEBRASKA

42 UP

CHINATOWN

CASABLANCA

CITIZEN KANE

RESERVOIR DOGS

SEVEN

THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

PULP FICTION

FIGHT CLUB

THE BIG KAHUNA

RUNNING SCARED

CONTAGION

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

THE MATRIX

INSIDE OUT

DEAD POETS SOCIETY

CHILDREN OF MEN

AS GOOD AS IT GETS

THE BREAKFAST CLUB

THE FLY

 

 

 

Mainstream Appeal Movies:

STAR WARS

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

BLADE RUNNER

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE

TITANIC

DEEP IMPACT

JAWS

PROMETHEUS

ALIEN

ALIENS

SUPERMAN THE MOVIE

THE ABYSS

CONTACT

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

PASSENGERS

THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT

SPHERE

ZOMBIELAND

LOVE, ACTUALLY

THE MIST

BROOKLYN’S FINEST

COCOON

UNBREAKABLE

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

TWISTER

WITNESS

LIFE AS A HOUSE

EQUILIBRIUM

LETHAL WEAPON

CAST AWAY

UP

THE PRESTIGE

HEAT

DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS

THE PROFESSIONAL

THE SHINING

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is that Art, or Just Artsy?

 

Click on the link below to read:

https://moviesandbookswelove.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/is-it-art-or-is-it-merely-artistic/

How My Grandpa and BLADE RUNNER Saved My Senior Year Summer

 

Click on the link below to read:

BLADE RUNNER, Algebra, and My Grandfather

LABOR DAY Movie Review

 

Click on the link below to read:

LABOR DAY Movie Review

FISH TANK Movie Review

FISH TANK is a powerful and award-winning British coming of age movie.

It’s currently on Netflix.

This film grabs you immediately and it doesn’t let go.

The movie has gorgeous cinematography, though the setting is British near-poverty.

It shows you the situation a 15-year-old girl grows up in. It shows you the fallacy that all you need is a goal, a positive attitude, and hard work to succeed.

The people who “succeed” in traditional socio-economic definitions of that word, usually, overwhelmingly, are people who have those traits plus money, stable homes, support, love, minimal emotional trauma, motivation, guidance, some formal education, talent, luck, and connections.

Privileged people probably never know that they didn’t do 70% of “their success” themselves and would probably never believe you if you told them that was the fact.

That’s why we need movies like this.

Immerse yourself in someone else’s situation for a couple hours and watch how that worthless philosophy doesn’t work out.

This movie really allows you to feel what it is like to be an angry young teenage girl living in English tenement housing. I believe it created empathy for young people in that scenario in many viewers. It certainly made me empathetic for her in her difficult situation.

This is an electric, alive, you-are-there, handheld camera kind of movie.

It was directed by a woman. That matters. So many of my favorite indie movies were directed by women. From what I’ve seen, women directors understand the emotional dynamics of screen relationships far better than men. Indie film directing just may be a really ideal art form for women.

There are a couple of things in this film that had me feeling emotions I didn’t want to feel.

It’s an unjust, delusional, wicked, transitory, and superficial world, and just being able to portray that fact on a screen provides a certain freedom.

FISH TANK is absolutely excellent.

Curtis Smale

Whose Life are You Looking At?

One of the the soul-nourishing things about an appreciation of good films, not just a passing entertainment interest in movies, is that good films literally and figuratively show you someone else’s life, someone else’s situation, someone else’s personality, someone else’s history, someone else’s people, someone else’s intimate face, someone else’s feeling.

The truth about real life comes through the realistic fiction of indie storytelling.

Movies like this can be instrumental in the development of conscience and empathy.

Curtis Smale

Do You Have a Movie Life?

 

This life of the movies, frozen on digital or celluloid media, awaits like a dark and secret friend across the decades.

Your favorite childhood movie memories, unlike your favorite real life people, and places and situations, are all still here, fresh and alive as they ever were.

They wait to be discovered by older eyes, miraculously unchanged–unlike anything else, even though the actors in them have all aged and changed.

Movies are shared narrative experiences, containers of personality, motivation, character, emotion, moral dilemmas and resolutions.

They live on indefinitely.

New (and good) movies participate in an unbroken chain of emotionally moving visual art begun in earnest in the early 20th century.

Movies speak to the most tender places in the human heart.

At their most sublime, they portray the hope of a wonderful life, the longing for a heavenly existence.

Movies are, at their best, a modern boon and a historical testimony with the power to make us all feel young again.

And that is a great gift indeed.

Curtis Smale

Is There Objective Quality in Movies?

 

Click on the link below to read:

https://deepunderstanding.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/is-there-objective-quality-in-movies/

EYE IN THE SKY Movie Review

Click on the link below to read:

https://deepunderstanding.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/eye-in-the-sky-movie-review/

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