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Examined Life

Examined Life

2008
Documentary
1h 27m
Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.
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Examined Life

2008
Documentary
1h 27m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 52.4% from 119 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(119)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 28 Jul 2009
40
26th
Fools, simpletons, misfits and buffoons permit us to see many of the errors of their ways. Even though I happen to believe that there genuinely is something we can call the vocation for philosophy, little evidence for it is presented here, and the eagerness with which the participants mug for the camera embarrasses philosophy itself. Occasional diverting moments, but precious little that will stay in the memory. Cinematically uninteresting, with poor musical choices.
Rated 08 Nov 2012
85
86th
My two favorite philosophers, Slavoj and Cornel, beautifully contrast each other in such a way that I can only describe it as perfect. I also enjoyed Judith and Sunaura's walk. Would recommend this over Waking Life.
Rated 30 Sep 2015
60
10th
Very bizarre experiment that attempts to create a cinematic platform for philosophy, to mixed results. The problem is largely just how stripped of actual cinema it truly is. Cornel West's segment is an absolute delight, but the rest of the film's material is too dense and the presentation too slight for the film to be truly satisfactory.
Rated 11 Apr 2009
85
82nd
does not really have a common overarching theme, instead everything gets thrown into the pot, ethics, ecology, disability, social contractarianism etc. Well aren't what are inherent in what we call "life". Additionally, the film itself is pleasurable to watch.
Rated 18 Jun 2009
80
64th
11 Nisan 09, 28. ist. film fes.t 11:00am. beyoglu sinemasi & astra taylor'dan bu sefer sosyal hayat uzerine bir felsefi- belgesel. bir daha bir daha bir daha tekrardan izlemeliyim daha sonra... belki yasim ilerleyince.
Rated 20 May 2010
25
22nd
Well it's not terrible considering it consists of watching philosophers talking about philosophy for eighty minutes (and credit is due for it not being as boring as that sounds). But a lot of it is actually ethics and not philosophy per se (and even some queer theory bullshit thrown in toward the end). However, at least the Zizek segment is awesome.
Rated 11 Jan 2011
70
58th
Consisting of various segments of philosophers discussing different ideas of life, what you gain from it will come from the filmmaking, merely to film these people in outdoor environments, but from whether any of the ideas engage with you. For me, it was very engaging so it gets a solid recommendation. Of the famous philosopher Slavoj Zizek steals the entire thing, not just because he filmed at a garbage processing plant of all places, but because he comes up with some very astute ideas.
Rated 13 Nov 2011
55
6th
The rating is from my view-point. I simply found the movie too hard to take in. May be I am not the wisest or the most introspective guy on the planet. It is extremely philosophical. May be if you are an Arts or Literature major or doing a thesis on "Life" you might find it interesting.
Rated 14 Nov 2011
75
63rd
Some of it was good, some was kinda tame or predictable. It was a good effort.
Rated 07 Feb 2012
75
49th
2 Desembre 2011 - Interessant plantejament, encara que finalment no sé si me n'ha quedat gaire. Està bé que no hi pensi fins al cap de dos mesos. Recordo alguna idea del West, el Zizek, el Singer i l'Appiah (he hagut de buscar el nom), però en la majoria dels casos no sé si més per la convicció o la destresa amb què es comunicaven que per la idea en sí. Volia, i segueixo havent de, aprofundir-hi. Em va despertar la curiositat la directriu
Rated 24 Apr 2012
41
34th
Zizek and West were cool to listen to as usual but the rest was bleh.
Rated 04 Jun 2012
77
47th
It's not as artistically inclined as Waking Life, which also covers philosophical ground, but it's shot in a competent, although minimalistic fashion. Taylor's aim is perhaps the reason why the set-up is low-key: it's intended to serve as an introduction to philosophical concepts that are most applicable to practical life. Each subject is explored for approximately 10 minutes by each speaker, barely enough to get an overview. Žižek and West had the most potent segments.
Rated 02 Aug 2012
74
41st
The setting of New York City for philosophical discourses concerning life on realist introspections proved applicable. In this circumstance all speaking segments weren't treated equally and there was a clear emphasis on the more compelling interviewées. The art direction adhered to a condensed approach and wasn't as aesthetically cultivated juxtaposed to other documentary films with dialectic philosophical substance. Nonetheless, it's a construct that I would like to see pursued more often.
Rated 30 Aug 2018
61
13th
all super-star philosophers are here: nussbaum, butler, zizek, singer.. yet the title of the doc is clickbait.
Rated 07 Sep 2021
55
41st
This seems like 'philosophy 101', which is not an issue in itself but it does limit the depth of insight possible for viewers. Taylor states herself, when questioned by Ronell, that she is attempting to make both a film about philosophy and a philosophical film. While she succeeds in the former, like many before and since she fails in the latter. The films does very little philosophical work, due not to the 'interviewees' but rather Taylor's inability to exploit cinematographic affordances.

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