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Which films reflect objectivist philosophy?

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Bolt is a wonderful movie. The hamster was jokes.

A few other greats:

- October Sky (based on a true story)

- Rudy (bases on a true story)

All three brought tears to my eyes

Edited by choo

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I would assert that the TV show LOST was an exposition of Objectivism. What is more, I would say it was not just a television series, it was a six season long movie. In the Aristotlean tradition it had a begining, a middle, and an End (Parts I and II).

You may have heard that the show is sci-fi but it is not. It has no plasma beams or strange devices. In fact the first episode begins just after every machine is broken. It is post-machina. The show is not sci-fi, it's phi-fi.

It begins with a frame of an eye opening. It is a single eye and it represents the focus of attention. This is the fundamental choice in Objectivism and it is the first frame of the series. The characters have been deposited on an island, as in ancient Greek philosophical scenarios, and are left to descover it. The nature of the island is discovered simultaneously by the viewer. Nothing is gauranteed. The viewer must use, and sees the characters using, the power of their minds to determine the validity of their senses and the ability to discover "Whatever the Case May Be", which is a title of an early episode.

The seconde episode name is "Tabula Rasa" and a main character is named John Locke. Many other philosophers are represented (as flawed characters) such as Rousseau, Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Anthony Cooper, Mikhail Bakunin, and Edmund Burke. There is another character who's name turns out to be Christian Sheppard.

The show is full of, not philosophical questions, but philosophical statements: "Whatever happened, happened", "Live together, or die alone", "The Cost of Living", "The Economist", "Do No Harm", "The Greater Good". The list goes on. And that is just from the show titles.

Early in the first season a main character holds up a black piece and a white piece from a game, and you the viewer are asked to choose. You are choosing between good and evil. But no one has horns or is red. You must discover and use your mind.

Most of all, I think the show depicts a sense of life that conforms to objectivism. Nothing is given to you. You must excercise your mind to acquire the knowledge. You must choose to focus.

The sense that I get from the complete show is that most fiction is based on a sense of non-reality. All the other stories are detatched from reality. They are adrift. They search for a truth that is "out there". But in LOST, by focusing the mind, validating the senses and dealing directly with "whatever the case may be" we can leave the sea, we can stop being adrift, and we can gain a toe-hold on the foundation that is the Island. If we atain the Island and perservere "as long as it takes" we can reach the heart of the island, and acceptance of the primacy of existence without reservation.

I would like to tell you so much more about the show but I would be a spoiler and there is still a chance one of you might see it. The story is wonderfully told and I wouldn't want to spoil it.

Even if it was not intended as an Objectivist movie it may have been an open forum argument between philosophies which just pointed in the right direction. Objectivism, being base on existence, has existence on it's side.

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What about Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice before he lost himself to altruism/love? He appeared to be properly prideful and rationally self-interested for a while...

Ha, yes. I like that! He did seem pretty fantastic before buckling to love. However, what he ended up giving into was an clever and challenging woman, who reflected his own level of intelligence, so I don't exactly think it's his downfall in altruism, but I'd have to read the book again or see one of the films. Also, he didn't earn the money himself did he, so his pride seems to be inappropriate at a certain point.

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Even if it was not intended as an Objectivist movie it may have been an open forum argument between philosophies which just pointed in the right direction. Objectivism, being base on existence, has existence on it's side.

I noticed that when watching the show as well. A very intriguing philosophical argument which focused between Shepperd and Locke. I really would like to watch the series again and dissect it to understand what the writers are trying to say. It all gets very complex and jumbled the series goes on, at least on the surface with time travel and what not, so I'm not sure if they lost their path at a certain point or kept consistent.

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... so I'm not sure if they lost their path at a certain point or kept consistent.

Oh, their path was lost. I think it starts that way. Since you seem to have seen it I can tell you that much of the storyline coincides with the world history of philosophies.

I don't know if you noticed but Jack's father's name is Christian Sheppard. The first time we meet the villain of the story he is standing among the reeds. He has taken on the appearance of Jack's dead father. That means that the first time we see the villain he is fraudulently appearing as the false resurection of Christian Sheppard.

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That means that the first time we see the villain he is fraudulently appearing as the false resurection of Christian Sheppard.

Very interesting point, although it's hard to tell whether they intended that to be the villain when they wrote that episode, or whether they simply intended on the appearance of dead people as a general feature of the island.

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I'm going to have to second (or third?) "Chocolat". It obviously isn't Objectivist, but it definitely has the right sense of life. No speeches about how great being selfish is, but really shows the problems with duty-based morality vs. egoism. I think it has moved up to be one of my favorite's now (not sure how often I will want to re-watch it, but it is a really really good film). I just finished it, like ten minutes ago. Haha. Great movie.

In fact, I'll go so far as to say it is probably the best movie displaying rational egoism (not politics) I've ever seen. Tony Stark does a pretty good job, but even that is more of a political-type message than the more directly personal "you're life would be better if you actually worked with the aim of living a good/joyful life" message of "Chocolat". It isn't about superheroes, or billionaire's, or a magic island, or people in ancient times, but about "normal" people and living their lives in (effectively) the modern day.

Not to say I don't love 300, Watchmen, The Incredibles, Iron Man, etc. All great. I also recently saw "Agora", and I'll second that one too. Quite a powerful film, and really highlights what is wrong with religion, and why science and reason are so wonderful. Nevertheless, in terms of portraying the proper selfishness of Objectivism, "Chocolat" all the way. You want reason, or adherence to principle, or great political struggles, there are other movies. But since selfishness gets short shrift in movies, "Chocolat" definitely deserves to be near the top of the "Movies that reflect Objectivism" list.

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...it's hard to tell whether they intended that to be the villain when they wrote that episode, or whether they simply intended on the appearance of dead people as a general feature of the island.

We don't know what they intended, nor do we know what was going on in their subconcious when they were writing it. Then again, we never do.

But we were not watching their intent. We were watching the product of their intent, their film. That is all we get to see in movies, or art in general. We don't get to have, nor would we want, the artist to stand over our shoulder and explain the intent of every brushstroke or every word. That's not what art is. A work of art should work without this.

We do find out that there are no dead people walking around on the island. No one comes back to life. There is even an episode entitled "Dead is Dead"

There are messages from dead people. But I don't thing Objectivism breaks down as soon as you get a message from a dead person. An aquaintance of mine received several time delayed messages on his cell phone from his wife, who was since deceased. Verizon was unable to cancel the delayed messages. Objectivism still applies.

The villain, the fraud, convinces John Locke to kill himself. When Locke says "Why do I have to die?" the fraud says "I guess that's why they call it a sacrifice." John Locke is driven by duty, and the fraudulently resurected Christian Sheppard convinces him it is his duty to die. But first he changes his name to Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832, proponent of utilitarianism and animal rights).

Sure I could say this was all unintended and just coincidence, but there are no coincidences and "everything that happens here, happens for a reason" (that is to say, every action is caused).

Edited by xgenx

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I alway think that films that include rising and/or defiance, or the one against the many, reflect an Objectivish "sense of life," such as Rocky, First Blood, 8 Mile, 12 Angry Men, Inherit The Wind, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

J

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Is it only me, or Blondie [Clint Eastwood] from "the man with no name" trilogy [for a fistful of dollars/for a few dollars more/the good the bad and the ugly] has a lot of Objectivist values and qualities inside him?

Other than that these movies are brilliant

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Is it only me, or Blondie [Clint Eastwood] from "the man with no name" trilogy [for a fistful of dollars/for a few dollars more/the good the bad and the ugly] has a lot of Objectivist values and qualities inside him?

Other than that these movies are brilliant

I don't follow. Are you saying that other than Clint's character, you think that these Leone films are brilliant? What's the last sentence supposed to mean?

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Others have mentioned "Slumdog Millionaire" but I just have to chime in and say that it is one of the most inspiring films, for all the right reasons, and that the conflict between the two systems of values is not only illustrated in the plot and its resolution, but in the background, as we watch the New India emerge from the Old. The contrast is stark and striking.

 

The films I know that best illustrate the philosophical themes in Rand's fiction are, in no particular order:

 

1. The Edge

2. The Mountains of the Moon

3. Tucker

4. The Aviator

5. Slumdog Millionaire

 

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I'd add " The Pursuit of Happiness"  by Gabriele Muccino, "The Astronaut Farmer"  by Michael Polish, and partially " Dark Knight" and " Man of Steel"

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I liked Locke too. I made a thread about it a while back: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=27657

 

By the way, if you liked more than just the Objectivist message about Locke, the director (Stephen Knight) also made a great TV show for the BBC, called Peaky Blinders. It's a gangster/historical drama, and Tom Hardy is in it too.

Edited by Nicky

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