“Cinema is truth at 24 frames per second.”
– Jean-Luc Godard
“Cinema is lies at 24 frames per second.”
– Michael Haneke
Often, the best way to begin interpreting a work of art is to ask good questions of it. The following questions are not trivia prompts with open-and-shut answers to test one’s knowledge of the film; instead, they are meant to spark and sustain thoughtful engagement with the film, whether through individual reflection or discussion in a group setting. Do not feel impatient if you cannot easily answer any of the questions, and do not feel discouraged if any of the questions remain unanswered. Good films require multiple viewings; great films require a lifetime. A great film is alive, and its depths can only be plumbed with time, effort, contemplation, reflection. These questions are only meant to help you get started.
24 Questions on…
(2002, dir. Steven Spielberg)
- What images and themes are established in the opening murder sequence? Why is the son memorizing the Gettysburg Address?
- What is the meaning of the Pre-Cogs’ names (Agatha, Arthur, and Dashiell)?
- Why do the Pre-Cogs see echoes?
- Why does Anderton buy Clarity, his drug, from a man who has no eyes?
- Why does Anderton watch holograms of Sean and Lara? How is this similar to the way the Pre-Cogs see visions? How is it different?
- In what way is the PreCrime team “more like clergy than cops”?
- What are the flaws, human or otherwise, in the PreCrime system?
- What does Agatha want Anderton to see?
- Why is Gideon in a wheelchair? Why does he play the organ, and why does he refer to his haloed prisoners as his “flock”?
- Why does Anderton run? What is he running from and what is he running towards? Who else runs in the film?
- Why is the plant that stings Anderton called a “Doll’s Eye”?
- Why is the film titled Minority Report? What is so important about minority reports?
- How is Agatha more talented than the other two Pre-Cogs?
- How does Dr. Hineman help Anderton? How does Dr. Solomon help him? What is the significance of the two doctors’ names?
- Why do both Burgess and Dr. Solomon have colds?
- Why does Anderton relive Sean’s disappearance after his eyes are removed?
- Howard kills his wife’s lover in a bathtub. Anderton hides from the Spyders in a bathtub. Why?
- Why does Anderton choose not to kill Leo Crow?
- Why does Danny Witwer smile before Burgess kills him?
- Why does Lara live next to a lake? How is this similar to the Pre-Cogs living in a pool? How is it different?
- Why does Anderton remember Sean being frightened by Tom Sawyer?
- Why does Burgess murder Anne Lively by drowning her? Why is she wearing red?
- Why do Burgess’ employees present him with a pistol from the end of the Civil War? Why does he shoot himself with it?
- Why do the Pre-Cogs live in a cabin on an island after they are released?