Flavorwire collected a list of the favorite books of 50 well-known people, including Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Ayn Rand, and Caroline Kennedy. Here are some of the picks:
Reference photo for Norman Rockwell’s portrait of Robert F. Kennedy, c. 1968. Courtesy of the Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.
Open Culture by Josh Jones
A post of ours last week on philosophical films piqued the interest of many a film-loving, philosophically-inclined reader, and raised an important and perhaps unanswerable question: just what is a “philosophical film”? Does such a creature even exist? Reader Albert Hoffman suggested that “a really great movie always is a philosophical movie, always opens the path to important philosophical questions.” I find that statement hard to dispute, but then find myself also agreeing with another reader, Assyouti, who writes “all bad films can be resources for philosophical discussion.” Why not? What a philosophical film is depends, perhaps, on the definition of words like “philosophical,” “film,” and “is.”
Booker Prize winning novelist Richard Flanagan said he was “ashamed to be Australian” during a scathing attack on the environmental policies of his home nation.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “philosophical film”? The Matrix, most likely, an obvious example of a movie—or franchise—that explores timeless questions: Who are we? What is reality? Are our lives nothing more than elaborate simulations programmed by hyperintelligent supercomputers? Okay, that last one may be of more recent vintage, but it’s closely related to that ancient cave allegory of Plato’s that asks us to consider whether our experiences of the world are nothing more than illusions emanating from a “real” world that lies hidden from view. Another influence on The Matrix is Rene Descartes, whose dualistic separation of consciousness and body receives the maximum of dramatic treatment.