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The Attraction of Protagonists: Three Singular Selves on Screen – Episode 46

In this episode Dara reflects on a recent conversation he had about where and in what way the self should feature in the pursuit of happiness. One argument emphasises total immersion in self as a mode of psychic excavation and rebuilding, whereas an alternative, more Eastern approach, is a wilful eradication of self as the pathway to radical acceptance of what is. Neither is easily achieved, but the discussion is worth having.

Regardless of philosophical and psychological musings on self, Dara argues that we love to consume accounts of individual selves in the arts and history – we’re wired to seek the human experience reflected back at us via the lives of others. In this context, he discusses the last three movies he just watched, which were brilliant examples of stories built around fascinating individual characters: a sociopath from 70s New York, a beguiling aristocrat from 18th Century France, and a desperate and loving brother from contemporary New York.

And for the chicken-fanciers, an account of why the rooster at Hashtag Blessed is so sinister…

Pauline Kael on Taxi Driver:

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