A Forum for and the Background of the Mediation of Dialogue in Ancient and Modern Academies

Monday, 21 January 2013

Atoms of Pleasure and Daniel Day-Lewis

While working on atoms of pleasure, not on Nietzsche's unpublished notes on Zeitatomlehre of 1873, but primarily on Plato's pure pleasure, and secondarily on Aristotle (I love to put first things first, chronologically first, I mean), my philosophical endeavor is being accompanied by the experience of highest level of artistic creation. Starting with Lincoln, Spielberg's last film, I am devoting some of my free time to Daniel Day-Lewis' films. Well, I allow myself to characterize the films he has played in "his" films, pardon me. In "his" very last one, I was impressed by the photography, which let the sun emerge and all kinds of light and shadows intermingle as if in paintings, by the focus on the story-teller Lincoln, and -do I need to make this explicit?- by the protagonist's acting. In my D.D.-L. retrospective, which followed Lincoln, it is difficult, almost impossible, to compare excellent moments to one another and say which is better, even under consideration of some respect or other in his acting. These acting moments stand the one beside the other, somehow paratactically, like atoms of excellence and complete pleasure, not to be added to one another. My favorite one, if someone makes me choose, is the film adaptation of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", then comes "There Will Be Blood"...which should I mention as next?

A cultural wish with which I would like to begin this year, is that Daniel decides to direct Hamlet and become the protagonist on the theater stage. It would be great and rewarding for us all, to experience another Englishman directing Shakespeare and himself on the stage, besides Laurence Olivier's filmed excellences. As quite a different method in acting and directing as it may be, it is equally fruitful. The result is what counts, after all. For my part, I would like to enjoy nothing less than the dialogue between director and protagonist! I leave my wish aside, but keep it alive.

Have a good New Year, filled with as much happiness as virtue can be compatible with!

PS: I was delighted to be informed that the Philosophos has been written and published, not by Plato, of course. M.L. Gill is the author, and I have the pleasure to read her book for a review.

PPS: If Barack Obama makes it with gun policy, on one hand, and mental health, on the other, he will definitely write history. Too much on his plate, though. We can only wish all the best thereby.

A scene from the film "The Crucible", directed by Nicholas Hytner (1996). Joan Allen and Daniel Day-Lewis.
And Daniel Day-Lewis with Arthur Miller, his father-in-law.

PPPS: My special greetings to Georgiana, Claudiu, Dana, Jan, Peter, and, last but not least, Julien: perhaps our quarrels on freedom and chance will become fewer, and eventually more profound, when I become a better philosopher and you a better physicist?!