I teach these seven films as part of the Liberal Studies Foundations course. An over arching theme in the junction of science and humanities, in particular the ability of the art of film to teach us about science and scientists.
|Reason and Rhetoric:Bickering for Humanity
As part of LBST120 Core Course On-Line, students will watch seven feature films. All are great films, award winners, great acting, faculty favorites. The primary focus of the films is how persuasive arguments are constructed, flow, and resolve. Rhetoric is classically the first Liberal Art. The secondary theme is modern scientific debate- evolution, genes, cosmology. (Liberal arts have outgrown rhetoric, grammar, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.)
LBST120 in an on-line course. Students must borrow, buy, or rent these films. I will screen the films on-campus for students and course visitors if requested on Wednesdays. Popcorn and dinner are welcome.
My notes on each film are posted here.
Rick Rayfield, Instructor
Inherit the Wind(1960) 128 mins.
Courtroom giants Darrow vs Bryan.
Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly .
Great book, great play, great film.
Evolution on trial while the country watches.
Twelve Angry Men (1957) 96 mins
Ordinary citizens on a jury.
Henry Fonda and all-star cast directed by Sidney Lumet.
Everybody who sees this film gets pulled in,
and everyone is moved. What is justice?
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) 108 mins
Family persuasion AA Katharine Hepburn,
Spencer Tracy, Sidney Portier
Interracial love disrupts a well-educated liberal family.
Lion in WInter (1968) 135 mins
Royal family bickering AA Katharine Hepburn,
Peter O’Toole are King and queen with razor tongues
arguing over which son should succeed.
Proof (2004) 99 mins
Campus furor on sanity & genius Gyneth Paltrow
Jake Gyllenham Anthony Hopkins
A mathematical proof needs checking and an author.
Copenhagen (2002) 117 mins
Nobel physicists argue the universe Tony Award winner
by Michael Frayn, Brilliant playwright (Noises Off)
imagines with clarity two geniuses and rivals,
Bohr and Heisenberg, arguing atomic politics and
Gattaca (1997) 106 mins
Evidence of what is human in genetically twisted future
Ethan Hawke wants to be an astronaut,
but his hippie parents did not get their genes cleaned.
|Here are my rough notes on what I find interesting about these films.