Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

100 Philosophers 100 Artworks 100 Words #15

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Philosopher: Bernard Molyneux (UC Davis)
Artwork: Signs (2002). Film directed & written by M. Night Shyamalan, starring Mel Gibson & Joaquin Phoenix.

100 Words: After losing his wife in Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Braveheart, etc., Mel Gibson finally loses his religion in Signs. But while others struggle to understand the seemingly nonsensical invasion of a higher intelligence from space, Gibson glimpses God’s bigger plan, and rediscovers his creed. Critics pan the movie’s use of water soluble aliens who invade Earth with no water-protection, but the inscrutability of the aliens’ behavior is essential to the theological analogy. (Hey—maybe Shyamalanis the higher intelligence whose mysterious ways the critics cannot fathom? Nah! The Happening really wasshit.)

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