Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged existentialism

Certified Copy

The latest film from Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy begins with the same joke twice. While waiting for author James Miller (William Shimell) to give a lecture, his translator (Angelo Barbagallo) apologizes for James’ lateness and says, “He can’t blame the traffic; he is walking from upstairs.” The restless crowd responds with no audible laughter. Moments later James walks into the room and, unknowing that it has just been said, re-uses the same joke. This time several members of the crowd emit soft laughter. Within the first few minutes of the film, Kiarostami has already laid out his brilliant thesis: that when it comes to art, history, or even comedy the copy can have meaning in a way that makes it as valuable the original.


It’s hard to give a shit about the rich. The beautiful and the damned don’t stir much sympathy. All the angst of moneyed loneliness seems… slight, when compared to poor and ugly people who feel lonely. Pity should be reserved for people the world shuts out, not those who shun the world’s embrace. Sofia Coppola’s new movie, Somewhere, is about the sadness of having everything. Luckily, it’s not as bad as you might think.

Prince of Truth

Considering Evangelista is side project of musician Carla Bozulich—a rather unstable project at that—it is hard to imagine that a work of quality would be produced by a band that seems to be a metaphorical revolving door.

Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle

I once happened upon a Callahan show at Boston’s MFA with friends who are seasoned fans of the Smog oeuvre.

Synecdoche, New York

It sucked. Any other questions? Okay, I know all the reviewers are raving. My husband raved (and I’ll let him justify that on his blog). I suspect the reviewers are raving because that’s what they think they’re supposed to do. It’s a deep and serious movie. It’s existentialist! It’s about the meaning of life!

Big Dreams Little Tokyo: A Half Japanese Comedy

Big Dreams Little Tokyo is written by, directed by and stars David Boyle, who plays the character of Boyd, an awkward American who speaks perfect Japanese. Boyd is a well-dressed young man who claims to be a businessman, yet his most successful business only has one client. The relationship that subtly develops between Boyd and Mai, a nurse and his only English student, is the most enjoyable aspect of the movie.

The Session

The Session is a novella mystery with quirky, intellectual humor dispersed throughout the book. It reminds me of the “Who’s on first?” Abbott & Costello skit: What we’re after here is the truth of the situation. I’ve got it. I’m pleased to hear it. In the palm of my hands. That’s the wrong place for it. On the edge of my seat? In anticipation of…? What? What? What are you waiting for? Who says I’m waiting? You’ve just done. I said no such thing.

Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

An international bestseller when it was first published over a decade ago, Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World has recently been re-released with a new appendix consisting of a short set of thematic and plot-related questions. Gaarder’s novel, brilliant in its philosophical scope and concision, narrates the intellectual maturation of its protagonist, Sophie Amundsen, a fourteen-year-old girl living in Norway. The novel is comprised of brief synopses of major philosophical theories and figures, from classical myth to twentieth century existentialism, from Socrates to Beauvoir.