Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 7:30pm
The Last Days of Immanuel Kant

The Last Days of Immanuel Kant (Philippe Collin, 1994)
Introduced by Richard Brody

The private life of the aged philosopher proves to be of peculiarly philosophical significance in this surprisingly comic drama by the French director Philippe Collin. The great stage actor David Warrilow, a Beckett specialist, gives an antic inward lilt to the thinker's severely logical musings, stern domestic order, and rigid routine, all of which--put into perspective by a script that brings out Kant's haunted pessimism--coalesce with his grand ideas as an intended bulwark against the inner and outer chaos to which the human animal would otherwise passively yield. Collin's puckishly steady pace, meticulous attention to physical complications, and artisanal compositions in black-and-white (qualities that bring to mind Jacques Tati's films) bring the eighteenth century to life with a bittersweet, chilly charm. - RB

Richard Brody is the movie listings editor at The New Yorker and the author of Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard.

Tickets - $7, available at door.