Six Degrees of Separation (1993) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: New Yorkers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge are upper class private art dealers, pretentious but compassionate. Their prized possession is a double sided Kandinsky, one side that represents control, the other side chaos. They relay a story to their friends and acquaintances that over time becomes… Runtime: 112 min Release Date: 08 Dec 1993
'I want life to be experiences, not just anecdotes' (by gradyharp)
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION is an outstanding play transformed to the screen with dignity but with a script that keeps us in the live theatre instead of in a motion picture. Not that that is a bad thing: the script by John Guare is brilliant. It simply seems a little static, with its marvelous plays on words, repeated phrases, and disjointed movements significant unto themselves but not really taking advantage of cinematic possibilities of flow.Essentially the tale of how a married couple who deal art Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland - both in peak form are so caught up in their <more>
superficial lives that they are taken in by a handsome young African American con artist Will Smith whose various antics bring the couple round to reexamining their shallow existence. Most of the story is related over art dealings and dinner conversations and are peopled by such luminaries as Kitty Carlisle, Ian McKellen, artists Chuck Close and Kazuko, Mary Beth Hurt, Bruce Davidson etc - a really fine ensemble. There are many social comments clustered in this story and it continues to play well after its origins on the stage and fifteen years after the movie was made. This was one of Will Smith's entries into film as well as one of the gifted Stockard Channing's finest roles. Highly recommended for repeated viewings. Grady Harp
A thoughtful movie, with many degrees of interest! (by vid-10)
A brilliant premise features Will Smith very young, at the time able to cunningly enter the New York high society and trick them into accepting him as a part of them. The movie title refers to the theory that, taken 2 people at random from the globe, be it the Pope and yourself, an eskimo and the President of the United States, there can be at most 6 people separating them. Therefore the trick of getting in contact with any person can be reduced to the finding of 6 people. In practice, Will Smith gets particularly lucky, as only one person will be needed to accomplish his task, of stepping <more>
into the world of the rich bourgeois New York society. In particular, the life of a family of art merchants Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing is literally swept by his arrival, which opens a crack in their life and start making them reflect about their own existence.The movie is witty, amusing, passionate, rich in surprises and in elements of interest, as it addresses the problem of existence how much of it you can account for , the role of fantasy and imagination and the relationship between parents and children. Great story, with brilliant acting from everyone and a nice violin soundtrack: perhaps my personal favourite movie of all time! 10/10
one of the most important movies about existence, and it forces you to make a choice, too! (by ickis450)
this movie is a crazy one. i think it delicately and very imaginatively ponders on one of the facts of human nature that has long been forgotten. existence, man... you watch laughably obnoxious guys agitating one another and legitimize how they dropped bombs and killed 100 000 people on a small island and then stand before a flag and sing anthems with sparks and flashes of idiocy in their eyes...and then you watch this movie..and there you go.. you never really existed. this is one of the movies that forces you to make a choice. and it is, perhaps, one of the most critical choices one could <more>
make. "to be or not to be", well william had it all. who are you? what are you going to do with your life? to what extent do you actually exist without other people? how free are you? are you only what you had been doing as time passed by with you incessantly planning things, or are you what your heart tells you to be? life is the time that passes as you keep planning things, as lennon says, and how exactly does that apply to you? the picture has two sides, yes, and in this system, this cage,whatever you wish to call it, this invisibly internalized system whose grip on us gets stronger day by day has soaked into our individual lives so much that we have turned into blank sheets who have become what we are told we have to be. we, then, completely forget about what we have been, what we were. and so life becomes a series of blind-fights you put up with anyone, even with a random guy on the street whose name you don't even know, at whose face you don't even look. cause you have to stand straight and face forward. all those things that we do to fake it. to fake that we are lonely sons of bitches who play in their own comedies without ever knowing it's a comedy.. and then the strangest guy intrudes your life and sings you back what you had denied: your real self. people are so different and yet so alike. think of maslow's pyramid. and they are so scared and they are made so lonely by constructs and schemata that they are so keen on surviving as to refuse the most sincere kind of connection with other souls cause, damn, it is so hard to believe people. so what do you do? you start wearing a mask and it gradually becomes your face..like the way it was with the theater kids in the movie. and you fake it. you fake it just to get recognition and approval, whatever. just to belong. to be loved. and you repeat this with every one. you turn into a sick person, the normal person, with only one side of the picture. well, the movie not only makes quite clever references to *spoiler*--salinger's the catcher in the rye but the whole movie is based on the book's theme--*spoiler*.. what is it that makes you hold on? well, i guess it is time that we look for the threads...like those placenta like aura kind of things that donnie darko saw. "may your mind be wide open".
A writer at the centre of one of the most elegant, entertaining, thoughtful and soulful tales to come out of Hollywood in a long, long time. John Guare's children are based , it seems, on real life people. How lucky for Guare to have found the great Fred Schepsi as their perfect foster father. Will Smith plays a man without identity, choosing one for himself, with such care, with such gusto that everyone remains enthralled, first of all us, the audience. Stockard Channing's Ouisa discovers a new side to her own self in front of our eyes. It is a performance of guts and beauty. Donald <more>
Sutherland's Flan is a first for the movies, we've never met a character like him on the screen. The scene in which he listens to Will Smith's Paul explain his thesis is a triumph. We see Flan falling in love. It is chillingly beautiful. Then, of course, the aforementioned Will Smith, he moves with a borrowed self confidence, like his character and it's impossible not to love him. He has the elegance of a Cary Grant and the charisma that we all now associate with Will Smith. I only regret that he didn't go for the kiss. That would have completed the shocking sum of all his parts. I love this film. I love John Guare for writing it. I love Schepsi he's an old love of mine "Cry in Dark" "Plenty" The superb editing, the wonderful tangoish score and the work of the production and costume designers makes "Six Degrees of Separation" one of the most rewarding movie experiences. On this terrible summer of World at Wars, New Batmans and some other horrors, do yourself a favour. Rent the DVD and stay for dinner at home with the Kittredges.
The Con, The Greed, The Homosexuality (by ROBERT_BLUE)
Every once and awhile, seemingly always at the oddest of times, I finally sit down to watch one of those films that everyone's heard of, but no one has seen. And every once and awhile I find a film that stirs my passion for storytelling.Six Degrees of Separation will most likely never be understood, as the themes and allusions are often colored and complex. Even this writer doesn't begin to fully understand everything Guare is trying to say. It is however, quite disappointing, that in all of the internet chatter Google may churn out, the themes of homosexuality are ignored as if they <more>
have absolutely no bearing on the story. They are as vital a part of the story as is Louisa's breakdown scene, and Flan's realization that he does actually love Paul.So, when you're at the video store, bored with the drivel Hollywood pukes out these days, pick this film up. Pay close attention to the cracks that begin to form in the characters, and run your fingers along those cracks to the end, and you may find yourself caught up in a story with a star shaped meaning. But be careful, it is the type of story that may have you looking inside yourself and who you're connected to.
Rich or poor, we long for a feeling of connectedness with the rest of humanity. External distraction, ambition, greed and desire takes it's toll and even parent-child relationships can end up like those depicted in this film. Yet a complete stranger touches them to the core with his cleverly fabricated stories and irresistible charm designed to play off that very longing. While it's the same longing within himself that motivates his charade. And so the world goes round in mixed up confusion. Great look at the existential angst of modern society done with intelligent, sardonic humor. <more>
This is one of the more thought provoking comedy/dramas you'll find. It's a searing look at modern interpersonal relationships and how they can be so lacking of any true human significance, centered more in material gain, business opportunities and social climbing. Stockard Channing deserves all the praise she has garnered for her role and Donald Sutherland and Will Smith are excellent as well. If this one slipped by you during it's original release, as it seems to have for allot of viewers , be sure to check it out!
This is the film that made even the most harshest critics admit that Will Smith had real potential as far as being a serious actor is concerned. This is the story of a young gay hustler named Paul Smith who knocks on the door of Ouisa and Flan Kittredge Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland and tells them a story of being mugged and also being the son of Sidney Poitier. He says he knows their children from college and remembered they lived there so thats why he came. After a lot of talking and impressing them he cooks them a nice dinner and they invite him to spend the night. They also <more>
loan him money but in the morning they find him with another man and they kick everyone out. The Kittredge's talk to their friends and find out that they all encountered Paul as well but were afraid to say something because they were embarrassed. The films title refers to the fact that we all know everyone by six people or degrees. The main focus of the film deals with how this young man made these characters take a good hard look at themselves and the relationship they have with each other and their children. The writing is very sharp and for most of us what is being said onscreen can easily go over our heads. Its a very intelligent script that forces the characters to see things that they seem to take for granted. Directed by Fred Schepisi who has shown a real knack for filming plays before and he also has shown to be very good at making films that are more character oriented. I remember one of his first films from the 70's called "The Devils Playground" and was impressed at that time by his direction. What really stood out for me though were the performances. Will Smith seems to tackle this complex script with an all to easy manner. As I watched his performance it was clear that he really understood the script and his character. You don't see that everyday from such a young actor, especially one that has limited training. But for me the best performance comes from Stockard Channing who was in the play as well. She's always been a very strong actress and a very underrated one at that. While watching her character in this film Channing does a wonderful job of allowing the viewer to watch her characters attitude change from the first scene to the very last. It really is Channings film and she received a well deserved Oscar nomination for it. Its one of the best in her career and its the driving force for the film. Casual film watchers may be put off by the sharp dialogue at first but I hope they stay with it, its a very good film about self realization and all the actors here are terrific.
A very good story, with brilliant performances, well worth watching. (by Rich B)
At once you can see this was a stage play, with the concentration on dialogue, and although it stands out somewhat here, and there is a slight edge of everything being just a notch above the usual, the visuals and acting bring you into this great story quite easily. Will Smith acts his pants off, well quite literally in some scenes, but he is superb in this role, and acting along such names as Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland, both of whom are spectacular in their roles. A story based around the idea that everyone is connected to everyone else by a maximum of six other people, it's <more>
just finding those six that make the link, and this is turned into an extremely interesting story, told in a series of anecdotal discussions between the main characters and their friends and business partners at various different social occasions. You find yourself drawn and fascinated to the tale as it unfolds, almost feeling as though you are one of those people, eager to hear the next step in the tale. However, I felt somewhat disappointed in the ending, almost as though it didn't fit and came out of nowhere. Yet the ideas of the stranger giving the couple more than they gave the stranger was a good one, I just think what they finally got wasn't what the story needed but then, sometimes that's life. A very good story, with brilliant performances, well worth watching.
This is the kind of film that deserved much more attention... (by danielll_rs)
I don't understand why the public and the critic didn't celebrate "Six Degrees of Separation". It is a very, very good and unusual dramatic comedy about, among other subjects, the high society life and the ambitions. I liked this film very much and I highly recommend it. However, there is a hollow ending and so I gave it a 9 out of 10. The same way a must-see.