To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Three years ago, R and F and I decided to watch science fiction movies every Friday night. We decided to watch an old one and a new one, back-to-back. We thought it was important for F's cultural enrichment that she become familiar with those classics, like "Forbidden Planet" and "Earth v. the Flying Saucers". I told her that in the old movies, and probably most of the new ones, there's always a babe. But also that there are important Themes to be learned from these stories. Here are a few, with examples:

Don't Wake It Up ("The Thing from Outer Space"; "Raiders of the Lost Ark"; "Space Seed", the Star Trek ep that set up "Wrath of Khan")
Run towards it! (sarcastically said) ("The Monolith Monsters")
Don't Fool with Mother Nature/There are Things Man was Not Meant to Know (very common theme; examples include "Them!" and "Mimic", which are virtually the same story; also "Jurassic Park", of course)
It's Right Behind You ("Alien", "Jurassic Park")
They're Not Your Friend ("V", Twilight Zone ep "To Serve Man")
Evil Capitalists ("Aliens", "Jaws" which is really classic SF as I hope to demonstrate later)(a sub-theme of this is Don't Trust the Government, "ET")
You're Gonna Need a Bigger [blank] (Boat - "Jaws"; gun - "Aliens", "Predator 2")
Why are Humans So Puerile ("The Day the Earth Stood Still"; any Star Trek ep with Vulcans in it)
If You Knew What I Know/I Tried to Tell You ("Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "They Live", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind")
It's Not Dead Yet ("Terminator", "Predator 2")

Think of some more?


Ed said...

I have to agree with you about Jaws. I very nearly put it onto my list of favorite science fiction movies, and onto the Great Science Fiction Movie Poll. After all, biology (icthyology?) is a science, too. I'd say that if the plot, setting, and characters are totally dependent on some aspect of science, then it qualifies as science fiction. Take away the science, and you no longer have the terror of the giant shark, or the setting of Amity, or the characters like Quint or Bruce.

As far as themes go, one could probably add All Problems Are Solvable With Science (star trek) and Science Isn't Everything (star wars).

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Great additions! Thanks!