Philosophy in the Sci-Fi Movieverse

I finished The Philosopher at the End of the Universe by Mark Rowlands.  Rowlands wants to explain sci-phi, or philosophy as it is used in science fiction movies.  Not just the great ones either;  Rowlands delights in bad sci-fi movies, like Hollow Man and Starship Troopers.  He mentions he could write whole books on just Schwarzenegger or Paul Verhoven.  ugh.

The best chapters i feel are on Frankenstein (the 1994 DeNiro version) and Blade Runner.  The Frankenstein chapter focuses on identity and absurdity.  Unfortunately for me, immediately following that is the chapter on The Matrix and i've read multiple whole books on the philosophical underpinnings of that film series.  Covering Blade Runner Rowlands' finishes the book out with a discussion on death, why it's bad, and how it creates meaning to life.  Pretty heavy stuff. 

It isn't a bad book, really.  I've just read way too much philosophy at this point.  If you're more of a newbie to the "explaining philosophy through modern pop culture", or you are a big sci-fi film fan, you will probably like it.  I really did like Rowlands' tone.  He's fun and not afraid to curse and not concerned that his opinions (such as on Schwarzenegger's acting ability) might not be more widely held.  a 4 from me but again don't let my lower rating stop you. 

So yahoo movies listed their 100 Modern Classics.  I've seen 61 of them.  I've seen 50 of their all time 100 best movies.  Think i'll just stick with vaguely working on the 1001 movies list.  

Currently: very excited about Iron Man 2.


  1. Sounds a little like those Tao of Pooh books that were so popular back in the 1980's. I like reading critical theory once in a while, but like you I can get burned out on it, too.


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