Dryden Theatre continues its ‘Human Spirit’ series

Examined Life and Angry Monk to screen in April and May

For Release 2009-04-02

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House will screen Examined Life (April 11 and 12) and Angry Monk (May 2) as the final installments of the popular “Human Spirit” film series. The “Human Spirit” series launched in September 2008 and has featured films that explore the potential to add meaning in one’s life through contributions to the lives of others. Films have been selected in hopes that they will stimulate thought, discussion, passion, and action.

Examined Life

7 p.m. Saturday, April 11 and 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12

In Examined Life (2008, Canada, 88min.), filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies nine of today’s most influential thinkers and philosophers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.

“By offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life reveals philosophy’s power to transform the way we see the world around us and imagine our place in it,” said Jim Healy, George Eastman House’s assistant curator of motion pictures.

For example, Peter Singer’s thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue’s posh boutiques, while Slavoj Zizek questions current beliefs about the environment while sifting through a garbage dump. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West — perhaps America’s best-known public intellectual —compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be.

“Ideas beam out from Astra Taylor's engaging new philoso-doc Examined Life; the viewer basks in the intelligence on-screen and, occasionally, soaks up the rays,” noted the Village Voice review of the film.

A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring Daan Braveman, president of Nazareth College of Rochester, and Bodhin Kjolhede, senior teacher of the Rochester Zen Center.

Angry Monk

7 p.m. Saturday, May 2

Angry Monk, directed by documentary filmmaker Luc Schaedler, follows the life and times of Gendun Choephel (1903-1951), a Tibetan Buddhist monk in the early 20th century who eventually turned his back on monastic life and became a fierce critic of his country’s religious conservatism, cultural isolationism, and reactionary government. Angry Monk (2005, 97 min., English/ Tibetan/ subtitles, Digital Projection) provides both a personal and political portrait of a pioneering and visionary intellectual who was also a smoking, drinking, and sexually active man.

The Sundance Film Festival noted, “Schaedler's evocative filmmaking does honor to his complex subject, tracing the journeys of Gendun Choephel’s life via exquisite archival footage, interviews with contemporaries, and poignant modern views of the settings of his life,”

Admission to each film is $7 general admission and $5 members and students. Additional information can be found at dryden.eastmanhouse.org or by calling (585) 271-3361.



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