Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Final Writing Assignment! Where No Sci-Fi Film Had Gone Before!

Final Writing Assignment: Where no Science Fiction Film has gone before...

Due: Monday, December 9th!  Please post to blog and bring a print version to turn in.

Your task:
Create an original "treatment" for a science fiction film.  Avoid using any of the cliches, tropes and stereotypes of sci-fi filmmaking that we identified as a group in class this past week.  

You are to create a completely original concept for a science fiction film.  Consider all the films and readings we have experienced over the course of the semester and your understanding of the sci-fi genre as examples.  Consider the representations of characters, gender, sexuality, location and the general narrative structures that are so prevalent in the history of the genre.

Create a 3-4 page "treatment" or "screenplay proposal" that briefly outlines the story, characters, sets/location, motifs, etc.  Look up "treatment" and "screenplay" online as there are hundreds of links with advice on how to write such - what you are making of course is much shorter than what one would typically be submitted for consideration.  Just be absolutely sure you have clearly stated your idea to the reader.  You may as well be creative with this, some might prefer to write an imagined "review" of the film (of course it has not yet been made, but imagine a critic writing about your film).  
Feel free to include any illustrations of characters, locations, etc.  (this is not required). Send me questions or ideas, glad to provide feedback!  

Women in Science Fiction Films

View in Theaters for December 2nd:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 2013, USA, Francis Lawrence
Please view the film at a local theater prior to Monday's class.  Those students who have not previously viewed the first film of the "The Hunger Games" series, please do so.

In Class Viewing:


We will be watching a number of trailers for science fiction films featuring prominent stories surrounding women and one feature length film (this will be a surprise!).

Reading Assignments: 

Fans, Romans, Countrymen...

View in Class November 30th:
Trekkies, 1997, 86 minutes, USA, Roger Nygard

On Reserve in the KC:

Fanboys, 2009, 90 minutes, USA, Kyle Newman

Reading Assignment: 
Liquid Metal: The Science Fiction Film Reader

Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten: Fan Writing as Textual Poaching by Henry Jenkins III pg 264-280

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Militarism in Science Fiction Films

View in Theaters:
Ender's Game, 2013, 114 minutes, USA, Gavin Hood
The International Military seek out a leader who can save the human race from an alien attack. Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle that will determine the future of Earth.  This film is being released in Theaters November 1st.  As we have no class meeting on November 11th, Veteran's Day, this film will take the place of the film we would have watched in class (please remember you are required to be involved with homework for 6 hours per week per 3 credit class).  Read reviews of the film in various media sources and come prepared to share such in class.

On Reserve in the KC:

Starship Troopers, 119 minutes, USA, Paul Verhoeven
Humans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival.

Reading Assignment: 
Of Starship Troopers and Refuseniks: War and Militarism in U.S. Science Fiction, 2007, Darko Suvin
(I will provide a pdf copy via email)

Prosthetic Memories - Total Recall and Blade Runner

In Class Viewing November 4th, 2013:

Bladerunner – The Final Cut, 2007, 1982, 117 minutes, USA, Ridley Scott

On Reserve in the KC watch prior to class:

Total Recall - 1990, 113 minutes, USA, Paul Verhoeven

Reading Assignment: 
Liquid Metal: The Science Fiction Film Reader
Prostethetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner, by Alison Landsberg, pg 239-248

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Technophobic and Dystopic Visions of the 1970's

In Class Viewing:
THX 1138, 1971, 88 minutes, USA, Director George Lucas
Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Liquid Metal: The Science Fiction Film Reader
Technophobia/Dystopia by Michael Ryan and Douglas Kellner pg 48-56

On reserve in the KC:

Silent Running, 1972, American, Director Douglas Trumbull - 89 minutes


Review of Silent Running:
Analysis of La Jetee:
Analysis of Dark Star: