First of all, my friends, I want to apologize for being largely silent during the month of February. There are many reasons for that, and I won’t go into any of them here. Suffice it to say, I’m here, get used to it! And I hope I will be publishing much more in the coming weeks. (I have about ten half-finished posts to show for my efforts!)
The reason I showed up here today is that I need your help. Every spring, my film class tackles a philosophical question. The idea behind it is that I believe that cinema, like all art, reflects the mores and preoccupations of our society. I use a “BIG” question to illustrate that. The students debate the question, and then we watch a series of films – hopefully a list that spans multiple cultures and eras – in the hopes of getting some clarity. We discuss the films and then, as a culminating project, the students write a BIG paper in which they reflect on the question and how the films have influenced their own personal perspectives on that question.
Whew! Heavy stuff!
So this year’s question comes from a student aptly named Joy:
Can we be content without being happy?
Who is more content: the naif, who ignores the misfortunes around them in order to maintain an illusion of happiness;
the idealist, whose optimism creates a sense of hope for happiness despite the odds;
or the cynic, whose pessimism denies the possibility of attaining happiness but whose practicality allows them to figure out ways to cope with the bad times? How does our world view inform a person’s choices in life as their options begin to narrow into adulthood?
Whew! More heavy stuff!
What I’m asking of you is this: if you are a lover of films, can you think of any titles that might tackle some aspect of this question? A few titles occur to me, but I’d rather get your take on the subject and can get involved in a discussion below.
I know from my brief experience as a blogger that these sorts of posts often get ignored. Please know that no suggestion is a “wrong” one. I welcome your ideas. All I need is a title and an explanation (in case I haven’t seen it) of why you think this film fits the question. You will get no arguments or criticism from me on any suggestion, just my profound thanks and quite possibly a few follow-up questions (like, is it available to show?)
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can render me. We now return to . . . well, a wait for our regularly scheduled programming!