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IU Themester Streaming and DVD Resources


When is behavior good or bad? We may believe we know it when we see it, but how do we judge? For example, when is it okay to lie? Can we specify what is good behavior for an unsupervised robot in every situation it might encounter? For that matter, what is behavior? Not even experts agree on a definition. Do plants behave? Bacteria? Physical chemists talk about “the behavior of water molecules” and we recognize good (in the sense of life-supporting) and bad (in the sense of life-threatening) behaviors of chemicals and other materials. Even mathematical functions can be described as “well- or badly-behaved.”

In 2012, we are treated to the quadrennial double-header of the Summer Olympics and the U.S. presidential election. It is said that competition brings out the best in people, but the competitive arenas of sports and politics provide plenty of counterexamples as well. Athletes excel, but also cheat; politicians inspire, but also lie. We endorse good behavior and reject bad behavior and develop elaborate systems to assess each, although we don’t always agree on which is which. As humans, we tend to think that we of all animal species have a monopoly on moral reasoning, but we still recognize good (adaptive) and bad (maladaptive) behavior in other animals. Biologists studying the evolution of such behaviors in animals even wonder whether human morality is also an evolved adaptive trait.

Themester 2012 explores the meanings of “good behavior” and its counterpart “bad behavior” in all senses: aesthetic, ethical, adaptive, useful, essential, and so on—applied to the realms of the living and non-living. Our discussions encompass moral philosophy, behavioral biology, the social sciences, mathematics, law, material science, cosmology, the literary, visual, and dramatic arts, and more. All contribute to our understanding of the possibilities and limits of telling good from bad and behaving accordingly. - Adapted from IU Themester Homepage



All Images courtesy of; accessed August 2021

IUB Streaming Titles

The following resources require IUB CAS Authentication.

American Psycho (2000, 101 min.)  Graphic violence and dark comedy color this adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's controversial novel. A hotshot broker (Christian Bale) basks in the excesses of his late-1980s yuppie lifestyle, but behind his slick appearance lurks a soulless killer who's cutting a murderous swath through New York City. Contains footage not shown in theaters. Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon.

Bicycle Thieves (1948, 90 min.)  Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award-winning Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man is on his first day of a new job that offers hope of salvation for his desperate family when his bicycle, which he needs for work, is stolen.. With his young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. Simple in construction and profoundly rich in human insight, Bicycle Thieves embodies the greatest strengths of the Italian neorealist movement: emotional clarity, social rectitude, and brutal honesty.

BlacKkKlansman (2018, 135 min.) A black detective sets out to infiltrate the Colorado chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with the help of his Jewish colleague.  In the midst of the 1970s civil rights movement, they risk their lives to obtain insider information on the violent organization.

Ex Machina (2015, 108 min.)  In this thought-provoking sci-fi film, the reclusive CEO of a tech company recruits a brilliant young computer programmer to evaluate his latest invention: a highly advanced android named Ava.

A Few Good Men (1992, 138 min.)  Best Picture nominee about Navy lawyers defending two marines accused of killing a third during a disciplinary action at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba.

In The Bedroom (2001, 131 min.)  Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei give Oscar-nominated performances in this powerful portrait of a family in crisis. Spacek and Wilkinson play a happily married Maine couple whose lives are shattered when their son is brutally murdered and the law fails to bring the killer to justice. Nick Stahl, William Mapother.

Les Miserables (1958, 223 min.) 223  This 1958 French-German-Italian production is one of the finest film versions of Victor Hugo's classic novel about the escaped prisoner Jean Valjean and his implacable pursuer Javert. It stars the legendary French actor Jean Gabin as Valjean. This long film is often said to be the most faithful adaptation of the novel. Directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois.

Rashomon (1950, 89 min.) This riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made.  Four people give different accounts of a man's murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema--and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune--to the Western world.

Seven Samurai (1954, 208 min.)  One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, SEVEN SAMURAI (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits.  This three-hour ride from Akira Kurosawa -- featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura -- seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action, into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope.

The Young Karl Marx (2017, 119 min.)  This gripping biopic tells the story of how a 26-year-old Karl Marx met Friedrich Engels and created a movement that would change the course of political history. Directed by the brilliant mind behind I Am Not Your Negro, (Raoul Peck) this film faithfully retells the origin story of modern communist thought.

Explore more awesome documentaries and feature films via IUCAT as well as via IUB's licensed subscriptions to Films for Education, Kanopy and SWANK at Media Services Libguide to Streaming Databases.

IUB DVD/Video Films

Be sure to check with Media Services for hours.  VHS titles are housed off-site at ALF, and can be requested via IUCAT

Biutiful (2011, 147 min.) Uxbal is a man on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. As fate encircles him, Uxbal learns to accept the realities of life, whether bright, bad, or biutiful.

Breathless (A Bout de Souffle) (1960, 90 min.) A small-time hood kills a policeman and tries to leave France, but his American girlfriend betrays him to the police and he gets killed trying to escape.

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989, 104 min.) Weaving together several different stories about people's lives, loves, perceptions, and ideals, this examines some of the toughest questions surrounding human nature.

Fences (2016, 138 min.) In 1950s Pittsburgh, a Black garbage collector named Troy Maxson--bitter that baseball's color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro Leagues--is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones.

Full Metal Jacket (1987, 116 min.) Vietnam war drama which begins with a depiction of the brutality of Marine Corps training and then shifts to Vietnam, focusing mainly on a group of Marines responding to the Tet Offensive of 1968.

High Noon (1952, 85 min.) A retiring lawman, about to leave town with his new bride, seeks allies among the fearful townspeople and finds none when an outlaw he put in prison returns with his gang to take revenge.

Judgment At Nuremberg (1961, 186 min.) American judge Daniel Haywood presides over the trial of four German jurists accused of "legalizing" Nazi atrocities. But as graphic accounts of sterilization and murder unfold in the courtroom, mounting political pressure for leniency forces Haywood into making the most harrowing and difficult decision of his career.  

OJ: Made in America (2016,  529 min.) An essential examination of the rise and fall of Orenthal James Simpson, and parallels between his incredible story with that of race in America. This critically-acclaimed documentary series reveals how he first became a football star, why America fell in love with him off the field, what happened in the trial for his ex-wife's murder, and finally, why he is now sitting in jail for another crime 20 years later.

Saving Private Ryan (1999, 169 min.) Captain John Miller must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one? Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, each man searches for his own answer and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.

Se7en (2004, 127 min.) A psychological thriller about two detectives on the trail of a serial killer who chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins. 

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