Mona Lisa Smile

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

Mona Lisa Smile

From Jeffery LeMieux

Published before 2005

Brian Yoder: [...] Excellent idea! Do you also do another one about a painting they consider great and another one they consider mixed or mediocre?

Thanks, Brian. I do not require a paper on "great art" because such a document would be too easy to plagiarize. One of the advantages of my approach is that no one feels able to write about bad art due to the programming done in modernist academies. It is not a bad idea, though, to require that students respond at the end of the semester using parameters developed in class, recognizing the limitations of that approach... I start the course asking students how they propose to live a good life without making judgements...

BY: [...] Self-determination is of course a great thing, but in my own experience, "going with the flow" in school would have meant adopting the ideas championed by the film and rejecting what they called the orthodoxy.

I feel exactly the same way. One thing I failed to mention earlier was that I see Mona Lisa Smile as similar to The Matrix in that it does kind of bring the public eye to Art as something worthy of debate just as The Matrix brought Cartesian philosophy to the fore. While I don't necessarily agree with the message, I think it's better to be thinking about the subject than ignoring it.