Philosophy v. Film?
If I proposed some kind of gathering to watch a film, how many of you would actually show up? The film I have in mind is Papillon. If you have not seen it, it is very good, I highly recommend it. (Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen!) But why this film? For two reasons:
(1) It is not in any way trying to be philosophical, but it is, and so it achieves that very nicely.
(2) The way in which it is philosophical is that it is existential--at least, I think so, very deeply so--and since it's not trying to be, it does it so well and doesn't come off as being cheesy and superficial.
But, a couple of things about this film:
(a) It is a bit long, 2.5 hours.
(b) It is not an easy film to watch, it's got some tough scenes, and being a film from the 70s, it's not designed to keep you easily entertained at every instant, so it can make it feel like it's even longer than it is. (I personally think such a feature of good films is something that adds to their depth; it forces you to spend time actually thinking about what you are watching, since your eyeballs aren't just be hosed down with visual candy.)
And lastly, a few things about the gathering, if there would be one:
(i) Someone else would have to house it, since I do not own a tv & dvd player, and I have a really tiny apartment.
(ii) Food and drinks are probably a good idea.
(iii) There wouldn't be any requirement for any philosophical discussion after the film or anything like that, not unless anyone desires it; sometimes, watching a film like this requires a lot of contemplation afterwards to really get the philosophical depth out of it.
(iv) Obviously, significant others and friends are welcome.
(v) Essentially, this could replace any bar gathering, and provide for something a bit different and stimulating in a different way.
So, who would actually come? (Please don't just say you would, and then not show up if we actually do it.) And since the department is actually much larger than this little group here, if you are really interested, please do spread the word to others in the department and see who else would come. (Tell them to respond here to say so, it would be nice to get some idea of how many people would actually be into it.) But of course, once a decision is made about it, an email will be sent out to all grad students about it.