Martin Woessner - "Terrence Malick and the Examined Life" - Daniel Morgan

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Martin Woessner

Martin Woessner will discuss Terrence Malick and the Examined Life. He will be joined in conversation by Daniel Morgan. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the Book: Terrence Malick is one of American cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers. His films—from Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978) to The Thin Red Line (1998), The Tree of Life (2011), and, most recently, A Hidden Life (2019)—have been heralded for their artistry and lauded for their beauty, but what really sets them apart is their ideas. Terrence Malick and the Examined Life is the most comprehensive account to date of this unparalleled filmmaker’s intellectual and artistic development.

Utilizing newly available archival sources to offer original interpretations of his canonical films, Martin Woessner illuminates Malick’s early education in philosophy at Harvard and Oxford as well as his cinematic apprenticeship at the American Film Institute to show how a young student searching for personal meaning became a famous director of Hollywood films. Woessner’s book presents a rich, interdisciplinary exploration of the many texts, thinkers, and traditions that made this transformation possible—from the novels of Hamlin Garland, James Jones, and Walker Percy to the philosophies of Stanley Cavell, Martin Heidegger, and Søren Kierkegaard to road movies, Hollywood Westerns, and the comedies of Jean Renoir. Situating Malick’s filmmaking within recent intellectual and cultural history, Woessner highlights its lasting contributions to both American cinema and the life of the mind.

Terrence Malick and the Examined Life suggests it is time for philosophy to be viewed not merely as an academic subject, overseen by experts, but also as a way of life, open to each and every moviegoer.

About the Author: Martin Woessner is Associate Professor of History and Society at The City College of New York (CUNY), Center for Worker Education, and author of Heidegger in America.

About the Interlocutor: Daniel Morgan is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago and author of Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema and The Lure of the Image: Epistemic Fantasies of the Moving Camera.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S Woodlawn
Chicago, IL 60615