King and Country: On Lawrence of Arabia

for Christine Harmon The opening of Lawrence of Arabia tells much of the story, if not the whole. There’s that sense of adventure, a sense of exploring the world anew, underlying our highest desires and some not so high ones. It can lead one to ride a motorbike too fast, seeing more while daring anyone […]

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The Alien: On “Man of Steel”

Spoilers galore ahead I can understand some of the complaints against Zack Snyder’s Superman movie. It does feel like some things are too clipped and not developed enough. We’re moved from scene to scene at a frenetic pace. There certainly could be more scenes that let the actors do their job (which they are pretty […]

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On Skyfall

Spoilers galore ahead The greatest Bond movie ever made – I think that, and I don’t particularly like Daniel Craig – and a necessary anti-Bourne corrective. Its themes pick up directly from Goldeneye: Is there a need for spies in the post-Cold War world? What is patriotism if the nation-state makes trained killers from orphans? […]

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On Princess Mononoke

It’s hard to describe just how beautiful Princess Mononoke is. Our hero, Ashitaka, tells San “you’re beautiful” in what could be his last words. He’s come a long way to do only that. Cursed by a war-god turned demon while trying to save his village, he is forced to leave his primitive, thought-to-be extinct people […]

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The State of Philosophy on the Internet

1. Sometimes the Internet and modern media technology are responsible for explosions of new talent. There’s no doubt in my mind we’ve been treated to a bunch of exceptional chess players and some great photographers because of our increasingly digital life. I have reasons to suspect that despite access to a number of terrific resources, […]

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Gattaca and the Problem of Nobility

Spoilers ahead. Go watch Gattaca if you haven’t already. Earlier this week, I was wondering about the division of all human knowing into two: theoretical philosophy and political science. It’s a division Maimonides uses in his Logic, a work which seems to be about the recovery of political philosophy. I remarked to Nathaniel that maybe […]

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On “Inception”

Spoilers galore ahead. Yes, posting will resume the 20th. I’m making an exception because – well, you’ll see. On “Inception:” a meditation on trust and sacrifice. Those issues are explored through faith and reason. The movie is filled with extraordinarily clever and competent people and a curious device that allows them to give someone a […]

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