Creator Title Emotional Sum (Sense of Life or emotional World View) Theme
Director: Carroll Ballard Black Stallion

Everything is possible between boy and beast, between an innocent human and mother nature.

Man and nature in harmony. At least this is the theme of the first half of the movie. See "Description" and "Context" info below for more on this comment.

Author: John Steinbeck East of Eden

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.

Domenichino: Head of a Bearded Man

Pensive, worried, detached qualities of humanity

Worry is the way of the world.

Director: Alan Parker Fame

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

Go after your heart's desire.

Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti Pieta

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

Resignation and sorrow for a great personal loss.

Architect: Guarino Guarini Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Royal Church of St. Lawrence)

The world is perfected. The joy of seeing complexity that is simplicity, i.e., that the rich complex vision arises from simple elements which because of their arrangement provide layers of visual thrills.

Complex, soaring geometric order.

Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright Johnson Wax Building

Day to day life can be exalted and pleasurable.

To Work should be a condition of grandeur and joy.

Choreographer: Harold Lander Etudes

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.

Sculptor: unknown Niobe

Human action is beautiful.

Life is movement.

Myron?: Riace Bronze A

Man is strong and indomitable

Intelligence, Pride, Strength = Man

Composer: Lerner and Loewe Camelot

One must attempt to live by values, even though virtue is powerless and hopeless.

Camelot: a medieval place of goodness and justice, and its inevitable failure.

Dancers: Torvill and Dean Flying Fish

A heightened sense that Life is fantastically unbounded by daily cares. Life is imbued with unlimited potential and ease of movement.

Life is light and fluid.

Director: Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet

Tragedy is central to life.

Romantic Love is doomed and we don't control our own lives.

Singing Group: Soviet Army Chorus and Band Wait for Your Soldier

Happiness triumphs.

The power of joy to motivate action.

Painter: Ettore Tito La Gomena (Towing a Boat)

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.

Director: Hugh Hudson Greystoke

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.

Director: Marshall Herskovitz Dangerous Beauty

The world is a horrible split of conventional marital morality vs. honest but promiscuous morality. The way to live requires one sacrifice one's body for one's soul.

  1. The importance of accepting your own rules for living, your own morality.
  2. The grim metaphysical conflict for a Venetian woman of being a slave to a husband or a free woman requiring sexual work.
Shute, Nevil: Landfall

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.

Vance, Louis Joseph: Brass Bowl, The

The world is a delightful place. Good things happen to the deserving.

Life as a gay, lighthearted adventure.

Director: Akira Kurosawa Rashomon

The world is terrible and full of disasters and mankind is awful and pathetic.

Objectivity is a myth -- everyone sees a different reality, a different "story".

Sculptor: Jean Baptiste (1630-1700) Tuby Chariot of Apollo

The world has thrilling powerful men of action.  There are no limits to what can be achieved.

Elegant, physical power.  The fantasy ability to fly through water and air with grace and ease.

Painter: Thomas Wilmer Dewing Comedia

Life is sumptuous and beautiful and alive.

Feminine vivacity and gaiety

Director: Lasse Hallstrom Chocolat

Pleasure is good; religion and conventional thinking is bad.

Follow your dream and disregard convention.

Loysel, Jacques: La Grande Nevrose

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.

Director: Andrew Stanton Wall-E

The world is garbage, and more garbage and humans have destroyed the earth, because of their wanton consumerism.

Mankind is a blight on the universe, and only cute robots (as opposed to evil robots) can save the earth from human degradation.