The first assignment requires that you critically analyze one of the following five films: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Soylent Green (1973) Strange Days (1995) The Host (2006) Annihilation (2018) All but The Host (which is available on Netflix) are available through the “criterion on demand” resource available to University of Toronto students through the library webpage. You can access them here: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/audiovisual. Select one film that you feel you can make a compelling academic argument about (I suggest you watch more than one to find a movie that speaks to you) and write a 1250-word essay about it. The essay should make a novel, and explicitly stated, argument about the film. It is not enough just to argue that a certain film is, or is not, science fiction, for example. Instead, your argument should say something specific about the aesthetics, politics, or history of the film. While your argument should primarily be of your own invention, you are expected to back it up with at least one academic source.
Coming up with your own argument about a film can be difficult, so here are some suggestions that may help: – What meaning does the film give to one of its pieces of iconography? In other words, if there is an alien, what does it signify to the characters and the audience?
– How does the film use futuristic science and technology to comment on the real-world technological innovations of its moment of release? – How does the film engage with the historical moment in which it was made? – Is the film self-aware of its own status as the product of media technology? Do media play a role in the story, if so, how are they represented?
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