Welcome

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.

https://liverpool.academia.edu/ShereenHamedShaw

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I couldn't help the temptation of watching probably for the third time, in my view, one of the best films ever made, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". The film was out in 2008 and won three well deserved Academy Awards for best direction, visual effects and makeup. They should have won a fourth award for its excellent sound track all through the film and of course a fifth for best acting cast. Brad Pitt couldn't have played a better role to show his amazing talent, wit and style.

The plot is not simple at all, in fact it intrigues the audience to an extent that I always feel glued to the chair from start to finish. The background soundtrack plays a big role in every scene enhancing the emotions conveyed by the actors and allowing the audience to feel some, if not all, the feelings and worries that the actors go throw. I cannot praise this film more and would highly reccomend it to anyone who seeks to see a worthwhile film that would certainly leave its mark in film history.

The upsetting part of the film is in fact how true and real it could be since it is based on a person's life story in 1920s who narrates skillfully the events one after the other starting by his famous line "I was born under unusual circumstances". The story is of a man who is born in his eighties- seen as an ugly baby- and grows younger with time. To the audience, the first part of the film where he is born and left by his father on the footsteps of an elderly home, could be viewed as slow and yet neccessary to the plot. I have to say I struggled to keep my mum and auntie seated tentively untill the more exciting parts started to unravel themselves, ie. seeing him grow into a much better looking young man untill he became a child then a baby again...etc.

The film clearly shows man's struggle with time, something that the Pharoahs understood and feared more than other civilizations, hence built passages to ascend and thought of mumification techniques. It is indeed upsetting after watching this film to realise how time always wins and that we will always be defeated. In one excellent scene, an old woman tells Benjamin "it must be painful seeing all those you love dying before you" he replies, "I never thought of it that way" he frowns and she can clearly see his face drop into sadness, she quickly adds "It's not that bad, in fact, death is neccessary so you can realise how much those who die mean to you" I doubt that this line have cheered him up because it certainly did not cheer me up the slightest. On contrary, it made me sink in my thoughts even more and started thinking of all those years passing by and what the furture holds. Was I angry when my granddad died or did I "realise" simple how much he meant to me. I was fuming with rage unable to hide it like a volcano ready to burst. I grew colder and my questions did not get adequate answers which of course made me even more sceptical and cynical about everything. Anyway, I've just thought to myself how lucky is Benjamin for growing younger but then I realised even more that in both case growing younger or older, one still see loved ones dying and it is impossible to stop the process from happening. Some people say foolishly that they'll live till they are 100 years old, but I say I'd rather die before those I love the most. I used to think that if my grandpa died, the world will end. Well, he died in 2005 and life still went on...Sad but true... I guess the next time death shows up on our door I will be prepared...maybe yes...maybe not. It is certainly something that hunts my thoughts and I cannot get rid of.

Official Website & Trailer:   http://www.benjaminbutton.com/