Highlights of the Ethos Film Blog
La La Land: Values and choices. ‘That’s L.A. They worship everything and value nothing.’ So says Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as he walks through the Warner Brothers’ back lot with Mia (Emma Stone) in the award-winning new film La La Land. What are the core values that underpin the choices we make, and affect what we worship?
Arrival. Can time change our problem with pain? What would it be like to sit outside the restrictions of a linear time-line? What if we could make decisions with a full knowledge of the consequences? Arrival explores the big themes of time, transcendence and suffering through the eyes of the linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) as she makes first contact with an alien race.
Free State of Jones: Equality, Justice and Governance. In this true story Newton Knight, a poor southern farmer, is increasingly disillusioned with the American Civil War which he sees as enslaving poor white people to sacrifice their lives and livelihoods protecting a political and economic system built on the slavery of black people.
Star Trek Beyond: Multicultural Community. In this fiftieth anniversary production we are finally set free from re-treading and twisting previous plots, as it recreates the essence of the original, whilst also providing audiences something new and relevant to consider about the multicultural ideal of Starfleet.
Independence Day Resurgence: Community. This is a fictional story in which a global community works together for the common good. Could this be possible in the real world? Perhaps, as we all work through the implications of the outcome of the EU referendum, we might watch this piece of cinematic art and reflect on the questions it raises.
Me Before You: Life. This film has stirred a great deal of controversy. Many of the protests have focused on the last fifteen minutes of the film, and what this conveys about the value of life. To engage with that debate, we must consider the framework of the rest of the story, and it may be helpful to set that in the context of different philosophical approaches to life through the ages.
Eye in the Sky: Moral Dilemmas. Eye in the Sky is an unmissable, morally tense, thriller. First and foremost, it is cinematic art that grabs and holds your attention from start to finish. But it’s also much more than that. As the tension rises with every scene, so does the complexity of the moral questions it raises.
Batman v Superman: Philosophy of Religion. Despite being panned by critics, the box-office success of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has much to teach us about engaging people in spiritual, moral, social and cultural questions in general – and the Philosophy of Religion in particular.
The Finest Hours: Mission. The Finest Hours tells the true story of 33 crew members lost at sea, and the four US Coastguards who faced almost certain death as they set out on a seemingly impossible rescue mission. This is not a so-called ‘faith-based’ film but the parallels with mission undertaken by people of faith are clear, powerful, and inspirational.