Philosophy Drive-In’s

Our take on theater and great conversation.

A night of film & lively philosophical discussion for all ages.

2021 Schedule

Philosophy Drive-In: Sense of Place (Short Film Collection)

Thursday, September 2nd
Reeder’s Alley Convention Center
Doors @ 6:15pm MT/ Show @ 6:30pm MT
Run Time: 1 hr. 20 minutes w/ discussion to follow
Venue Capacity: 15-20 people
Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation)
Other: Light snacks provided.  BYOB & your own low-profile camping chair.

Part of our ongoing “Thinking About Place” project, this philosophy drive-in gathering will explore “sense of place” through three short films & a podcast storytelling.  Afterward, we’ll talk as a group about what things stood out as “ingredients” of place & how these track with our own perceptions & experiences (here in Helena and elsewhere).  Add this gathering to your calendar.

Produced for the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature, Carrizo Plain – A Sense of Place is a 32 minute documentary that profiles a hidden corner of California through the eyes of three artists with a special affinity for this rare and unique landscape. Prior to the influx of Europeans in the 1800s, California’s Great Central Valley was a vast open plain. One remnant grassland of that era remains — the Carrizo Plain.

The film features artists Bill Dewey, Chris Chapman, and John Iwerks as well as rare plant biologist Heather Schneider, Ph.D. of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The insights of the artists and the biologist provides us with a window into the rare and unique qualities that make the careful preservation of the National Monument so important for us all. Through their personal sense of place, the three artists share their impressions and their creative work to reveal the special character of this hidden corner of California.

Amir Ahmad was a Marine Studies Initiative (MSI) Science Filmmaking intern. He collaborated with the ODFW Marine Reserves Program to produce a short film titled, “Sense of Place” highlighting some of the volunteers assisting in the scientific monitoring of Oregon’s marine reserves.

This 5 minute film explores some of the different ways that these volunteers identify with and are connected to the ocean and why they volunteer. 

A podcast series consisting of musings, thoughts, and passages by Florida-based storyteller Jim McGinnis.  In this podcast, McGinnis explores a “sense of place.”  What is a sense of place? A combination of characteristics that make a location unique. Your place doesn’t have to be remarkable or breathtakingly beautiful. It can be a common place that gives you an uncommon feeling of contentment. Another reason for tending to the past. 

This film profiles the transformation of Portland, Oregon from an urban wasteland into a thriving metropolis. Following the rapid and uncontrolled growth of the 1950s and ’60s, the civic leaders of Portland developed and implemented some of the most successful land-use policies in the United States. Today, Portlanders enjoy a flourishing downtown, as well as national recognition for their achievements in alternative transportation, emissions reductions and overall sustainability. What makes for a sense of place?

For more information, please contact Marisa at [email protected] or 406-439-5788.

Inspired by our belief that ideas are worth talking about.

A night of short films & lively philosophical discussion for all ages.

The Rougher Side of Humor: How Far is Too Far?

Wednesday, April 13th 2022 (7pm-9pm)
Special Guest:  Dr. J. Angelo Corlett

In this combo symposium-drive-in night, we’ll have a free-wheeling discussion about contemporary humor, looking at some of comedy’s most beloved (and oft controversial) greats, focusing primarily on the work of Dave Chapelle.

After watching some video clips, we’ll explore and discuss such questions as:

  • What is the role (or point) of humor? 
  • What’s the difference between an offense and a harm?
  • What makes comedy great?
  • Is there a difference between using a word and mentioning a word and does it matter? 
  • Do comedians have certain obligations?  What about listeners? 
  • And more…

This event will feature special guest speaker/facilitator and professor of philosophy from San Diego State University, Dr. J. Angelo Corlett.

FREE & open to the public (18+ years old/mature audiences).  Program directed by Marisa Diaz-Waian & Dr. Barry Ferst.

Dr. J. Angelo Corlett is a professor of Philosophy at San Diego State University specializing in ethics and epistemology. He writes on and teaches Philosophy of Law, Epistemology, Plato, Philosophy of Religion, and Ethics from an analytical approach. With regard to ethics, Angelo specializes in Moral Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Political Philosophy and Legal Philosophy, inclusive of the following foci: apology, capital punishment, civil disobedience, ethics of illegal drugs, forgiveness, hate speech, immigration, indigenism, international law, justice, Latino/a identity, legal interpretation, philosophy of sport, political violence, privacy, punishment, race, racism, reparations, responsibility, rights, secession, and terrorism.  He has authored more than 100 books and articles on these and other topics and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Academic EthicsSport, Ethics, and Philosophy; and the Journal of Ethics.

**As a nice analog to this community activity, Dr. Corlett will also be holding a discussion at Carroll College as part of the Philosophy Now Speakers Series the night prior to this where he’ll focus on the ethics and legality of politically correct speech and the relationship of this speech to freedom of expression.  This lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12th at 7:00pm in the Carroll College Student Center located at 1601 N. Benton Ave.  It is free and open to the public.  Learn more here!**

Visit our Merlin Drive-in Archive page to access resources & photos from previous drive-ins. 

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