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Film Festival: Ambition

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Kermit the Frog dreamed of making millions of people happy, and succeeded.

Charles Foster Kane was a great success story, but it didn't end there.

Salieri sank into bitterness as a fool achieved glory and fame while he himself would fade into obscurity.

Daniel Plainview wanted... what, exactly? To overcome God, or at least his nearest representative?

Allie Fox wanted to escape consumer culture and built an ice factory in the jungle.

All kinds of characters were tempted by the power of the One Ring.

And then there are those red shoes, and that black swan.

I'm thinking about ambition, and the films that explore that subject most insightfully and powerfully. It's such an American story: The allure of glory, the dream of succeeding, the struggle to maintain hope against all odds, the unexpected and glorious success story, the tragic collapse of the dream, the fall into ruin, the death by vanity.

I'm interested in films that would help me explore how to discern between unhealthy, selfish zeal and the kind of ambition that helps us become our best selves.

What films come to your mind?

Edited by Overstreet

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The Fountain



Little Miss Sunshine

All About Eve

Elmer Gantry


Red Beard (Kurosawa)

Floating Weeds

Throne of Blood


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Hope this random list helps:

Sunset Blvd

Catch Me If You Can


The Social Network


Ace in the Hole

Hoop Dreams

The King of Kong

I think of plenty of political films that could be considered for both types of ambition: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Ides of March, etc. And if you want to include TV shows, I'd recommend Mad Men.

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Bob Roberts

The Big Kahuna

Swimming with Sharks


Julius Caesar

Death of a Salesman

Barton Fink

The Hudsucker Proxy

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