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REL 110 Hunter Tillichs Philosophy in The Driving Bell and The Butterfly Discussion

For the final paper you will be identifying and analyzing evidence of Tillich’s philosophy and that of one other thinker we’ve discussed this semester within one of the films listed below. Provide a brief synopsis of the film you’ve chosen including the general storyline, major themes, conflicts, and characters involved. Keep in mind this paper is meant to be an analysis of the film as it relates to Paul Tillich’s thought rather than a general plot summation or film review.

In what ways does this film illustrate specific elements of Tillich’s thought? (True faith? Idolatrous faith? Courage? Neurosis? Existential estrangement? Anxiety of nonbeing? Responses to that anxiety? In what ways are the dynamics of being and nonbeing shown to be at play?) Where do you find elements of one other thinker’s philosophy/ideas of the Ultimate? Meaning? Is there a resonance between the protagonist of the film and those of The Stranger or Nausea? Perhaps an instance of an I-Thou encounter? A celebration of impermanence a la Zarathustra? Choose one and put their thoughts into conversation with that of Tillich.

What visual/auditory/narrative devices are being employed to symbolically represent these ideas? Beyond the narrative arc of the film, be sure to also reflect on how key scenes, character development, elements of cinematography (lighting, shot composition, perspective), sound, and set design contribute to the visual expression and exploration of the human condition, the search for ultimacy, and responses to a crisis of meaning.

*Additional outside sources (ie. film reviews, critical essays) are discouraged for this assignment, but if you do use them, be sure to cite them appropriately.

1. Adaptation. 2002, Drama/Comedy. dir. Spike Jonze

2. Amour. 2012, Romance/Drama. dir. Michael Haneke
3. Arrival. 2016, Sci-fi/Thriller. dir. Denis Villeneuve
4. Beasts of the Southern Wild. 2012, Drama/Fantasy. dir. Benh Zeitlin
5. Cleo From 5 to 7. 1962, Drama. dir. Agnes Varda
6. Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. 2014, Thriller/Romance. dir. Spike Lee
7. Dead Man. 1995, Western/Drama. dir. Jim Jarmusch
8. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. 2007, Drama. dir. Julian Schnabel
9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 2004, Romance/Sci-fi. dir. Michel Gondry 10. Everything is Illuminated. 2005, Drama/Comedy. dir. Liev Schreiber
11. The 400 Blows. 1959, Drama. dir. Francois Truffaut
12. Garden State. 2004, Romance/Comedy-drama. dir. Zach Braff
13. Harold and Maude. 1971, Comedy/Romance. dir. Hal Ashby
14. The Hours. 2002, Drama. dir. Steven Daldry
15. Ida. 2013, Drama. dir. Pawel Pawlikowski
16. I Heart Huckabees. 2004, Comedy. dir. David O. Russell
17. The Joy Luck Club. 1993, Drama. dir. Wayne Wang
18. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. 2014, Drama/Fantasy. dir. David Zellner
19. Lost in Translation. 2003, Drama. dir. Sofia Coppola
20. Melancholia. 2011, Sci-fi/Drama. dir. Lars von Trier
21. The Neverending Story. 1984, Fantasy/Family. dir. Wolfgang Petersen
22. The Piano. 1993, Drama. dir. Jane Campion
23. The Sacrifice. 1986, Drama. dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
24. A Serious Man. 2009, Comedy/Drama. dir. Ethan Cohen, Joel Cohen
25. The Seventh Seal. 1957, Drama/Fantasy. dir. Ingmar Bergman
26. Synecdoche, New York. 2008, Comedy/Drama. dir Charlie Kaufman
27. Thelma and Louise. 1991, Adventure/Drama. dir. Ridley Scott
28. Upstream Color. 2013, Sci-fi/Drama. dir. Shane Carruth
29. Whale Rider. 2002, Family/Drama. dir. Niki Caro
30. Wit. 2001, Drama. dir. Mike Nichols


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