Metaphysical McGuffins

by John Holbo on January 3, 2011

I’m preparing to teach philosophy and film again and I’m looking for examples of films that hinge on more or less bald stipulations of metaphysically preposterous states of affairs. That is, cases in which something impossible happens, and it isn’t identified as science or magic. It just is. Examples:

The Exterminating Angel (hey, Criterion Collection has it out since last year! good!)

Groundhog Day

Being John Malkovich

In each case, it’s not hard to think of other films that are clearly sf or fairy tales/ghost stories, but that are more or less the same story, in terms of set-up, general mood and themes. [click to continue…]