(With our apologies to Alejandro González Iñárritu.)
Our next set of posts observes themes from late in Simone de Beauvoir's The Ethics of Ambiguity in the 2014 film Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). We found this film to rehearse key elements of genuine humanity, that goal and figure so central to de Beauvoir's text.
Matt Bender focuses on the polarizing influences in the life of Riggan Thompson, the film's main character, played by Michael Keaton. Matt's discussion turns on the way Thompson negotiates a balance of these influences in order to understand his genuine humanity. Sami Brisson turns her attention to Mike Shiner, played by Edward Norton, and the delicate transformations toward genuine expression evidenced in Mike's encounters with the young Sam (played by Emma Stone). Finally, Becky Vartabedian assesses de Beauvoir's analysis of art and criticism, focusing on a scene between Riggan Thompson and the critic tasked to review the show, Tabitha Dickinson; de Beauvoir's analysis offers a way of understanding the deeply polar positions of artist and critic, with an aim of showing the artist as caught up in the work of genuine humanity. Thanks for reading.