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: Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged

Life can be good; Men are competent to live happily; The world can be a shining, happy place to exist, if one is free. But novel also presents a dark, dystopian world to help make real that positive view.

The crucial value of the human mind.

Composer: Alfredo Catalani Ebben? Ne andrò lontana (aria from La Wally)

Longing is the overall emotional tone of the music. The lyric gives reason to this overall tone.

Sadness at having to leave forever the place where you were happy once.

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.

The importance of accepting your own rules for living, your own morality.

Sculptor: unknown Niobe

Human action is beautiful.

Life is movement.

Painter: Emil Carlsen The Samovar

The world is full of textural richness worth looking at.

The richness of light and the objects it caresses.  This is a paean to the richness of visual experience, but with the simplest of materials -- just a light source and two kinds of simple unadorned objects.

Screenwriter: Chopra Vidhu Vinod 3 Idiots

Life can be fun and productive and exciting. As is true in some other Bollywood features, this story and the ideas behind it about pursuing the good life, has an honesty and clarity and benevolence that is not part of the U.S. movie scene.

Be what you want to be; follow your passion in life

Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti David

Man is a strong, indomitable creature who has the intelligence to overcome terrible odds.

[requires assumption of some context of this work -- not a "cold" introduction to it]: A man able to face a daunting task, with tremulous calm and determination. This is the depiction of the David/Goliath story of the Bible in which David takes on the much more formidable Goliath and wins.

Sculptor: Antonio Canova Three Graces

The female human form is beautiful, graceful, ideal.

Quiet repose and sisterly love. The piece exudes a quiet elegance and peacefulness amidst the complex three-dimensional composition. The inclusion of "sisterly love" is less certain, except that taking into account the mythological background of the piece. It can be argued that one should not take that into account, so perhaps that should not formally be included in the theme.

Playwright: Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac

Life can be exciting. Life can be grand, literally. There is also some great sadness about consummated love, since it is portrayed as unreachable.

The importance of independence and independent thought. Compromise is deadly to one's soul. Sub-themes: a) Doubt of one's goodness because of an incidental fact (physical feature) is terribly damaging and tragic. b) Helping someone by faking reality is damaging and can come to no good.

Playwright: William Shakespeare Othello: the Moor of Venice

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.

Director: Lasse Hallstrom Chocolat

Pleasure is good; religion and conventional thinking is bad.

Follow your dream and disregard convention.

Writer: Noel Coward Design for Living

Life can be giddy and bright. Facing up to one's anti-conventional values is important. Conventional morality must be questioned if it causes suffering and conflict.

You should follow your deepest values and accept them no matter how unconventional the outcome.

A rare combination of the wittiest, lightest of Noel Coward's style, along with deeper themes of romantic love, proper morality and how should one live.

Director: Oliver Stone Wall Street

There are bad people in power who use ordinary people as pawns in their endless pursuit of money. Those who are not ruthless are sheep to be slaughtered by the rich and powerful. Greed is bad.

Financiers are amoral money-grubbing backstabbers, i.e., desire for money corrupts

Director and Screenwriter: Richard Curtis Love Actually

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.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones Rob Roy

Life is a struggle. The life you make for yourself can be difficult, but living it with strength and morality is the way to live. Happiness is possible in romance.

Heroism in everyday life leads to heroism writ large. A man works hard to lead his life and those of his extended clan in an honorable, productive, honest way. This is the everyday heroism. But dishonorable, evil men seek to steal from him and ruin him. This leads to a life of larger-than-life heroism to vanquish his mortal, and stronger enemies.

Director: Fredi Murer Vitus

If you have the will, you can find the way to live the way you want.

Living your life your own way is the only right way.

Director: Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet

Tragedy is central to life.

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

Sculptor: Pio Fedi Rape of Polyxena, The

Strength and complex beauty are central. Vitality, passion and action are hallmarks of this work.

Life is complex strife, entwined with strong god-like characters.

Author: Emma Lazarus The New Colossus

Benevolent celebration of liberty as a beacon to a troubled world.

A marvelous land of liberty offers welcome to the oppressed 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.

Director: Rob Reiner A Few Good Men

Justice should be fought for, needs to be fought for and can be fragile.

Commitment to a moral code is central to a good man's life.

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.

Miron - Parish: Tzena Tzena Tzena

Joyous celebration

Joyous celebration

Director: Raymond De Felitta Two Family House

Feelings of benevolence and optimism about life. Happiness comes from making choices for your own good.

Going after what you want in life; Don't be stopped by conventional standards of the people around you. It takes courage to be selfish.