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Existential Films

Existential films

Jun 19, 2015




A slide show with links to clips. These are some of the many films with Existentialist themes.
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Existential FilmsExistential Films

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) offers a scathing critique on society -- but the message is more than just an anti-establishment one; it also touches upon such themes as the madness of social conformity and the relativity of human psychology and what we conventionally think of as mental illness.

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This film serves as a commentary on the all-controlling media, the pervasiveness of television in today's society, and how everybody wants to appear on it. There's an existentialist angle as well, with the entire construct of society being portrayed as a facade that can be stripped down and revealed as an illusion.

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Being John Malkovich (1999) examines the reality and limitations of our psychologically locked-in condition and our craving for experiences other than our own.

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Easily overlooked as an existential movie, American Beauty (1999) takes a very literal look at modern life and the human struggle to find contentment and meaning.


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Aside from being an outstanding science fiction movie in its own right, The Matrix (1999) is a vehicle for a host of philosophical and existential issues. It first and foremost the modern reintroduction of Cartesian skepticism and the brain-in-the-vat problem

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Groundhog Day (1993) has come to be recognized as a highly innovative treatise on the human condition, the meaning of life, personal responsibility, and the seemingly endless repetition that characterizes our lives

As Phil struggles to come to grips with his predicament he goes through a number of phases: disbelief, shock, hedonism, scheming, depression, nihilism, depression (including numerous suicide attempts) and social detachment.

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My Life Without Me. explores one woman's journey after finding out she is going to die soon. It's a classic existential theme, but an uncommon approach to this existential issue