Why you need to watch “Life.”

​Sometimes the most beautiful friendships come from the conflict of self-intent versus self-purpose. Life is a film about that very conflict that which blossoms into a beautiful friendship. Tired of doing the same job over and over again, Dennis Stock (Pattinson), a struggling beat-photojournalist tries to make a name for himself by following an up and coming-unproven movie star named James Dean.
Stock’s selling point to James Dean (Dehaan) is that he can make him a star by publishing a photo essay of him in Life Magazine and this ploy doesn’t really interest James Dean at all because that is not what he wants. This biographical drama teaches us that friendship is a sweet responsibility, not a great opportunity.

The logline states:

“As he shoots pictures that would become iconic in “Life” magazine, photographer Dennis Stock forms a surprising bond with rising star James Dean.”


The film is simple, there is no need to go into cinematic detail, breaking down cinematic details because it is merely a film about the relationship between two people. The story is a collision between two artists who try to prove themselves uniquely; therefore, they clash. The film expresses how Dennis Stock works to obtain something from a great opportunity and shows James Dean soul searching for his inner enlightenment. These dilemmas from both characters stem from the hardships from their past, present, and what is to come in their near future.

At this point in history, James Dean is an unknown entity but is slowly picking up steam as an actor who is about to premiere his first ever feature-length film as a lead character, East of Eden. Like a shark, Dennis Stock smells blood and see’s something huge, and he attacks James Dean like a fish out of water trying desperately to get him to do this photo shoot with him. You would think any rising star would accept such a great opportunity, but James Dean doesn’t know if he wants fame, all he wants is to do good movies and to get lost in his roles. This is why Dennis Stock represents the ideology of self-intent, and James Dean represents the search of self-purpose creating a significant conflict between the two characters not in terms of their relationship but in the case of their moral dilemmas. They both seem to be looking for something that doesn’t involve one another but by happenstance are in the same boat because James Dean never writes off Dennis Stock at all. He simply responds to his requests by inviting him to be friends with him in the style that James Dean knows how to: by being cold.

What Life instilled upon me is that we forget why we become friends with people. We only seem to befriend one another nowadays just to advance ourselves in life that is alone advantageous to ourselves. People don’t become friends with one another for the sake of only becoming friends anymore. James Dean taught Dennis Stock how to be a good friend because if someone makes a genuine effort to be your friend, you should honor that notion by reciprocating that.

This is a beautiful film about friendship. Just because you have a chance to become friends with a movie star doesn’t mean that it is an excellent opportunity because this is complete and utterly incorrect. Having a friend is a responsibility, and if we honor that ideology by nurturing, loving and caring for them, then we will begin to blossom in our lives in the way that we ought to be growing as human beings, not in the way that we intend our lives to progress.


Final Thoughts:

Do you remember as a child when you would run up to another kid and play on the playground or color with someone else, and you would become best friends with him or her? Try doing that tomorrow. Not color or go to a playground but make a new friend. This article is dedicated to the ten friends that have made my life a lot easier just by being a good friend to me.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

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