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Pleasantville

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The first time I saw this movie (before I discovered philosophy) I didnt think much of it. I just finished watching it this evening and I must say that I was 'pleasantly' suprised. :nuke: ... But seriously--this movie may be one of my new favorites. The way it depicts human pleasure as good seemed a refreshing change from some other movies of its day. And while the movie emphasizes the idea that pleasure is good, it does not do so in a hedonist manner. The girls dont become whores, and there are no orgys in the streets. Not only that but it has the classic story of Government oppression and a peoples' strugle against injustice. One of my favorite parts of this movie had to be the story of David/Bud's sister(played by Reese Witherspoon). She starts off as a slutty, dim angry young girl. By the end of the movie she is happy and studious, going off to college. The only element of the movie that may get in the way of enjoyment is how the kids get into their predicament in the first place, but once you get past that, the movie is a joy.

Edited by coirecfox
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I was thinking about this movie just the other day, so it's funny you should mention it. I saw it a couple times a few years ago and was impressed at the time with the message. I haven't seen it in a while so when I thought of it I wondered how I would feel about it if I were to watch it again, knowing what I know now. I thought of renting it to watch again. I'm glad to hear your pleased with it. I remember it fondly and think it is a good theme.

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Necessary: I know what you mean. I actually found the lack of philosophical discourse interesting. I do not think it detracts from the movie at all. I saw the movie almost as a piece of artwork: you cant have a lengthy philosophical discourse in a painting, it revolves around one theme. The movie takes the pleasure of ones own life and asserts it as GOOD, something I find lacking in our culture in general, except as almost a dirty secret between friends("Yeah we are going to help lots of people( and make a world of profit doing it, but shhhhhhhh).") Like I said, it also shows, though subtley, in the story of Bud's sister that a rational life of values yields more happiness than that of a slut obsessed with pleasure(note that SHE changes colors only after she does NOT have sex w/ that guy). I think that some things that are said in the movie can be taken as irrational, but any talk of emotions and feelings isolated from a full disscussion of their origins can be taken as irrational, and like I said before, that was not ultimately the point of the movie. Does that make sense?

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  • 3 months later...
I mean, it's nice that they introduce the people of Pleasantville to so many good things, but what about the philosophy behind what makes those things good?

I enjoyed the movie as well, but how would you suggest the producers of the movie integrate philosophical discourse into the film w/o detracting from its overall flow?

I thought it was funny, however, when the color "red" appeared and all the people in Pleasantville were like "OH MY GOD, LOOK, RED!" I'm curious as to how they all knew what 'the' name for the color was! Those geniuses...

Nevertheless, aside from that inconsistency, the movie was absolutely unpassable. Personally, I can relate to the emotions the people of P.V. felt when they first saw the color red (induced from enlightenment); it was like my first time reading the F.H. or understanding Objectivism principles. Seeing colors for them was like finding out the three basic axioms of reality--exciting and paradigm shifting! The movie was an explosion of creativity that made me wonder what the American society will look like in 100 years--what cultural novelties will replace outdated ones?

Psychologically, the movie basically makes the watcher introspect after viewing. You're left wondering, "What 'boxes' am I trapped into that do not allow me to see the 'color'"? "What shifts in my thinking methodology and perspective do I need to change?" "Is there a purpose to this...is there a purpose to that?" "Could this be done more creatively and effectively?"

After some time introspecting, you'll probably realized that your brain is caught in habitual methods of thinking.

When you cross your arms, legs, or intertwine your hands, do you notice that the same hand/leg/arm is always on top of the other? Do you always put your left shoe on first? Which leg do you put in first when stepping into pants? Which hand opens the door? How does your body act when it's under stress? When your angry, what idiosyncracies do you ellicit? And, if the habitual crossing of your legs, arms, and hands is controlled by the power of your mind, does that mean that are mind is also 'stuck' in habits too?

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