Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tom Shadyac's Movie - I Am

You have all watched Tom Shadyac's movie I Am. Please comment on how you can relate some of the main topics discussed in the movie to your own observations and experiences about life.

Some of these topics include:
* what's wrong with our world?
* the interconnectedness of all life
* "it's all alive"
* cooperation instead of competition
* democracy as a natural state
* sympathy and love as natural responses
* heart over brain
* mind over matter
* what's right with our world?

Link to the Movie (currently on Netflix):,0,i%20am:55e351a4-0538-4403-8c09-7116450d103d

Link to the Movie Website:


  1. One of the main topics that were discussed in Tom Shadyac’s movie I Am is consumerism, and our tendency to believe that material goods will bring happiness and prosperity to our lives. I found Shadyac’s personal experience with this consumerist lifestyle to be very interesting and reflective of the opinions I have on the topic. Also, the topic of my research essay is consumerism and its effects on the world, so Shadyac’s thoughts on this are very relevant to my project. As Shadyac found through living a wealthy, extravagant, and excessive lifestyle, the accumulation of material goods does not lead to happiness as some might expect. Rather, it leads to a lifestyle of dissatisfaction and regret, due to one following the ideals associated with such a lifestyle. A focus on material goods brings out certain attitudes and habits in people that can have a negative effect on many aspects of their lives. We tend to be satisfied only when we have taken possession of the best. Because others will always have something that we do not, or something that we consider superior, we will never be satisfied with what we currently have. This habit results in people focusing on what could be rather than what is, and consequently, they never appreciate their current situation. They don’t feel gratitude for their lives, which is an important source of happiness. As well, when someone lives a life that is so focused on material consumption, they often underestimate and even forget the value of the intangible aspects of life, which I consider to be the most important. These aspects such as love, friendship, adventure and memories are essential to the quality of our lives and our relationships with others. When these are lost, I believe that a person becomes somewhat empty, no matter how much ‘stuff’ surrounds them. I think Shadyac’s decision to move into a mobile home community is a very brave and wise one. He is leaving the relatively unimportant aspects of his life to seek true happiness, which as I said earlier, is derived from living a life focused on the intangible aspects of our lives, and reaching a satisfaction and gratitude for our current situation, rather than constantly wishing for what we don’t have.
    The following is a link to a song that was played in I Am. Its lyrics speak of consumerism and its prevalence in society, and I think it is definitely worth a listen! It is called “Society,” by Eddie Vedder.

  2. I found the documentary “I AM” by Tom Shadyac very inspiring. Being very familiar with the films he produced such as “Bruce Almighty” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” I found the documentary very interesting. I will admit I did not know who Tom Shadyac was until we watched the documentary in class. I found his life story very interesting and his severe concussion and limitations to be emotionally stirring. Overall I applaud his effort of being able to recover and pursue greater knowledge of abstract ideas that defy scientific definition. For me however I had a hard time swallowing the idea of a greater power that somehow plays a part in our existence. I did enjoy the pieces that focussed on humans being connected and how our human nature is not based on “survival of the fittest”. I also liked how he changed his perspective and lifestyle and it inspires me to follow a similar path. At the end of the documentary he acknowledges how he sold his mansion and became a teacher who biked to school every day. The yogurt attached to his head experiment to me felt a little difficult to believe. Although the yogurt was clearly just linked to his head, I don’t think that it was just his emotions that were affecting the electrical influences of the bacteria. I also wonder why they decided to use bacteria in yogurt instead of another simple animal. Overall though I really enjoyed the film and listening to different professionals talk about their beliefs.
    Sarah Rippe