Titlesort icon Creator Date Era City Country Emotional Sum (Sense of Life or emotional World View) Theme
East of Eden Author: John Steinbeck 1952 1951 - 2000 United States

Life is filled with great and important choices.

The battle between good and evil, guilt and innocence. Takes the position that we are influenced by many things, but ultimately we have free will.

Etudes Choreographer: Harold Lander 1948 Pre-1950 Ballet/Dance New York United States

Thrilling pleasure at beautiful movement and great success at developing the best within you.

Hard work results in great achievement in life -- and that results in beauty and excitement in life.

Fame Director: Alan Parker 1980 1971-1990 New York United States

Life is hard, but you can succeed, and it is worth it and exhilarating.

Go after your heart's desire.

Far Country, The Author: Nevil Shute 1952 1951 - 2000 Australia

Life can be bright, happy and successful, but hard decisions must be faced and dealt with.

A good and happy life is made up of self-directed actions, self-chosen goals.

A less important theme is:
Freedom from government control.
Whether the government control results from devastating wars, or from socialist control of medical care, freedom is to be sought and prized.

Godfather Director: Coppola Francis Ford 1972 1971-1990 United States

Life demands death; life is a horror of killing and retribution. Life is tragedy and malevolence

Behind beauty and success lies corruption and death.

Greystoke Director: Hugh Hudson 1984 1971-1990 United Kingdom

Life is Loss -- life is grim and culture is grim and the jungle is grim. All is grim.

The other important feature of the film emotionally is that Tarzan has been crippled by his circumstances of being brought up in the jungle -- he cannot live as a man, so the great tragedy of the story is that he has to return to the jungle, which is below primitive -- it is an isolated hell in which death is at every corner, and at best the companionship of apes. Given that the story partly portrays civilized men as brutes who relish killing animals, perhaps the emotional intent is to make the choice to return to the jungle as positive, but for this reviewer it is unutterably tragic and ugly.

Loss, Loss, Loss. Man as metaphysically alien from human culture.

Head of a Bearded Man Domenichino: 1625c 1600s New York United States

Pensive, worried, detached qualities of humanity

Worry is the way of the world.

Her Face to the Wind Painter: William Hosner 2006 2000s Traverse City, Michigan United States

One gets the feeling that the young woman is able to stand strong in the world, with panache and beauty all at once.

Facing life in a fresh, strong, vivacious way.

High Noon Director: Fred Zinnemann 1952 1951-1970 United States

There is palpable evil in the world. There is heroism in the face of evil in the world. The movie is full of fear and foreboding and betrayal.

Civil Society is the ideal, and worth fighting for. Doing what is right is the right way to live. Don't let the evil bastards win. The theme is expressed repeatedly in the movie via the contrast of the Marshall who grimly faces the need to do what he lives for, despite the death facing him, vs. the mealy mouthed town folk, many of which who won't fight for their civil society, and vs. the deputy marshall who portrays the sellout who will give into evil force in order to "get along".

Hyacinths to feed thy soul White, James Terry: 1911c 1900s United States

Hopeful. Even in poverty one can have beauty.

Beauty is a form of sustenance

Johnson Wax Building Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright 1939 1900 - 1950 Racine United States

Day to day life can be exalted and pleasurable.

To Work should be a condition of grandeur and joy.

King in Khaki, A Author: Henry Kitchell Webster 1909 1900 - 1950 United States

Honesty is a noble and practical way of life.

Business acumen produces both material wealth and moral right.

The success of the entrepreneur in this story, along with his relation to all his staff and secondary and tertiary folks on the island who work for him -- makes him into a "king" based on important human relations and the rightness of his decisions that result in a successful business enterprise.

A subsidiary theme might be termed the power of morality over physical power or economic "power".

La Gomena (The Boat Tow-er) Painter: Ettore Tito 1909 1900s Rome Italy

There is great effort in life, and a woman can be the master of it. This painting is a curious combination of romantic heroism and 19th century genre naturalism. It has a visual dynamism and dramatic content that is strongly romantic, yet the subject is the prosaic task of pulling a boat out of the water.

The will and the power of a woman. Implacable determination.

La Grande Nevrose Loysel, Jacques: c.1896 1800s Paris France

The dynamic female body is beautiful and exciting. Although it may not explicitly suggest it, the nude and its tense position could be felt as erotic.

An animated female body is a vessel of perfection.

Landfall Shute, Nevil: 1940 1900 - 1950 United Kingdom

Heroes and Heroines are self-made, by anyone at any level of intelligence who seriously pursues what is important in their lives.

Truth will triumph -- with perseverance.

Laocoon (Laocoön and His Sons) Sculptor: Agesander 1st century BCE to 1st century CE 500 BCE - 1 CE Rome Italy

Life is a desperate, agonizing struggle.

The heroic but agonizing defeat of Men. This sculpture certainly represents at the same time the heroic nature of men but cast into an impossible situation that can only be tragic.

Love Actually Director and Screenwriter: Richard Curtis 2003 1991-2010 United Kingdom

Romantic love, family love, filial love, and the love of friendship are of central importance to human existence, and are possible to achieve.

Wonderful experiences of love are found in many forms and places.

Merry Widow (Die Lustige Witwe) Composer: Franz Lehar 1905 1900s Vienna Austria

Love brings gaiety and joy to life.

Love can be gay and tender, solemn and lighthearted, painful and joyous.

National Farmers' Bank Architect: Louis Sullivan 1907 1900 - 1950 Owatonna MN United States

Being able to breath freely -- expansively, and feeling that there are no limits to what man can do.

The world is expansively, infinitely rich.

Niobe Sculptor: unknown c. 200 BC Rome Italy

Human action is beautiful.

Life is movement.

Old Man with a Young Boy Painter: Domenico Ghirlandaio 1490 1400s Florence Italy

Human companionship or family closeness is real.

Quiet familial love. (A grandfather (perhaps) gazing upon a grandson, and vice versa, in a clear moment of happy communion.)

Othello: the Moor of Venice Playwright: William Shakespeare 1603 1600s Stratford-on-Avon United Kingdom

Malevolence and horrible tragedy is unrelieved.  Evil is potent.

A great man can be gullible and controlled by an evil character.  Or, an evil character can have potency in the world, because of the weakness of a good man.

Owl and the Sparrow Director: Stephane Gauger 2007 1991-2010 Saigon Vietnam

A child shows sweetness and strength and determination.

Searching for family, for soulmates.

Pieta Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti 1500 1500s Rome Italy

Life is acceptance of pain. Resignation in the face of tragedy.

Resignation and sorrow for a great personal loss.

Psyche Author: Phyllis Brett Young 1959 Canada

Optimistic, Hopeful, even under terrible circumstances.

We are beings of self-made soul