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:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Outer Space is the Place - Into the 1970's

Module C Continued...hippies, counterculture and ecology...with a wink towards French experimentation.

In class we will be watching two films (both on the shortish side).

1) La Jetée, 1962, French, Director Chris Marker - 28 minutes

2) Dark Star, 1974, American, Director(s) John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon - 83 minutes

Both these films have in common highly independent production values - both are very low budget productions yet considered classics that have stood the test of time.

On reserve in the KC:

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

There is no reading from Liquid Metal this week, rather I want you to read and be prepared to discuss these various reviews and analysis of the films we will be viewing this week:

Review of Silent Running:


Analysis of La Jetee:


Analysis of Dark Star:

Print out these reviews and bring to class or on your laptop, ipad - be sure and have copies of each available for our discussion.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Module C: Outer Space is the Place - Midterm Comparative Critique and Analysis

Module C:  Outer Space is the Place - Midterm Comparative Critique and Analysis.

1) Monday, October 7th (this class will run past our 9:45pm end time)

Screening:  2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968, British, Directed by Stanley Kubrick
(I am working on securing a wide screen HD projected venue for this, more info soon as to the location)

and...View in Theaters! Opening October 4th 

Gravity, American, 2013, Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
(you don't need to view this by Monday but will need to in order to complete the writing assignment described below)

No assigned Reading for this week - midterm...
Due: Monday, October 21st!
Midterm Paper: You are to write a critical review and comparative analysis regarding the 1968 film 2001: A Space Oddyssey and the 2013 release of Gravity.  Conduct basic research regarding both films, screen the films then write a 5 page, minimum 1500 words, double spaced midterm essay.  Follow the writing guidelines link I sent you earlier in the terms in developing your critical, comparative analysis.  Please write your essay from the third person perspective.  Please turn in one copy printed and also post to your blogs please!  

2) Monday, October 14th
Screening:  The Planet of the Apes, 112 minutes, USA, Director Franklin J. Schaffner

Read for discussion: 
Signifying Monkeys: Politics and Story-Telling in the Planet of the Apes Series by Richard von Busack xeroxed essay. 

There is no film on reserve for this particular week, work on your midterm papers please!