Creator Title Emotional Sum (Sense of Life or emotional World View) Theme
Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti Pieta

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

Resignation and sorrow for a great personal loss.

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 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.

Sculptor: Agesander Laocoon (Laocoön and His Sons)

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.

Screenwriter: Noel Coward Brief Encounter

Passionate love. Tragic choices.

High romance is possible. Such love is unlikely to survive. This film manages to embrace two contradictory themes, leading to a major bittersweet outcome.

Author: Phyllis Brett Young Psyche

Optimistic, Hopeful, even under terrible circumstances.

We are beings of self-made soul

Director: Alan Parker Fame

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

Go after your heart's desire.

Painter: Domenico Ghirlandaio Old Man with a Young Boy

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.)

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.

Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House

The world is open and has sweeping, unending possibilities.

The essence of a house as shelter, and providing a sense of strength and privacy. That is, a structure that exudes strength through its massive cantilever and massive brick and stone forms, along with its big overhangs sheltering the windows to create a sense of privacy and enclosure, in its urban situation.

Miron - Parish: Tzena Tzena Tzena

Joyous celebration

Joyous celebration

Architect: Louis Sullivan National Farmers' Bank

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

The world is expansively, infinitely rich.

Author: Nevil Shute Trustee from the Toolroom

A feeling of gentleness, kindness and generosity towards good people in the world.

The importance of pursuing one's personal values.

Author: Henry Kitchell Webster Real Adventure, The

Life is wonderful as long as you realize that life has to be earned the hard way.

Creating your self is the only way to live.

De Felitta, Raymond: City Island

Anxiety and pain from all the lies and mistaken motives. Catharsis from the climax, leading to feelings of wanting to be truthful in life!

Lying is not the way to live.

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.

Painter: John White Alexander Repose

Life is extravagant and lush and sensual.

Feminine Sensuality is a main theme, though one can argue that a related (equal theme or sub-theme) is: The Lushness of the Material World. The dramatic draped womanly figure pressing against a divan, whose figure is clearly oulined, shares the visual dominance of the painting along with the magnificent sweeps of her dress and the giant pillows, the massive backrest, and even the strong elements of the floor material and the golden back wall. All together a remarkable composition.

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".

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.

White, James Terry: Hyacinths to feed thy soul

Hopeful. Even in poverty one can have beauty.

Beauty is a form of sustenance

Composer: Lou Handman Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Sensuality and bitterness

The remembrance of past love.

Director: Coppola Francis Ford Godfather

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

Behind beauty and success lies corruption and death.

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.

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: 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.