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Philosophy & Sociology clubs premiere ‘Her’

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The social constructions of society and reality, the standard notions and definitions of love, self and individuality were subjects of conversation among students and faculty members during a movie screening at Pierce College.

The Pierce College Philosophy Club together with the Pierce College Sociology Club planned the event in conjunction with the Pierce College Associated Students Organization this spring.

“Her,” an Academy Award winning film for the 2014 best original screenplay was selected by the club members, according to Lisa Martinez, 25, a public policy major at Pierce and president of the Sociology Club.

The screening was open to all students and it took place Monday, May 19 in the Great Hall.

“You can view the film in different ways depending on the perspective that you chose and that’s what we wanted to showcase today,” Martinez said.

Martinez, whose goal for the event was to allow people to open their minds about the controversial film as she called it, was happy to see the number of attendees at the event.

“There are deeper themes involved like what constitutes a happy life which is more of the philosophical point of view,” Martinez said. “The sociological point of view would be this man owning his lover essentially, which is the computer system and the patriarchy society point of view.”

The movie, which was written by Spike Jonze, narrates an unusual love story between the lead character, Theodore Twombly, played by Joaquin Phoenix, and an operating system whose voice is played by Scarlett Johansson.

Gabriela Rodriguez, a 20-year-old marine biology major at Pierce, heard about the event from her sociology class and decided to attend the screening of the movie in order to receive extra credit.

“I thought it was weird at first but when I was able to see where it was coming from I actually enjoyed it,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, who also considered the movie comical but sad, said she can relate in a way to the storyline.

“I was thinking to myself that it would be quite interesting if I had something like that for myself,” Rodriguez said. “People will eventually start using technologies like Siri from the iPhones more in the future and I would probably be doing the same thing, making a bond between the system and I.”

After the movie ended a panel discussion followed shortly after pizza and refreshments were served by the hosts. The panelists were Mia Wood, an associate professor of philosophy at Pierce and Robert Wonser, an adjunct assistant professor of sociology.

During the discussion, students interacted freely with both panelists and exchanged opinions back and forth for over an hour.

“Her sense of self is very much a reflection of him, quite literally,” Wonser said during the discussion. “She’s doing things for him in the beginning like organizing his emails but when she starts interacting with others she outgrows him just like an infant would.”

For more information about the clubs feel free to visit their Facebook pages at www.facebook.com/groups/PierceSociology/ and www.facebook.com/groups/PierceCollegePhilosphyClub/.