The film class had its first viewing of Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 (warning - link contains sound!). I don’t want to say too much here; the students are free to choose their own focus for this final paper and I’d rather not blur that focus with my personal thoughts. Students have no obligation at all to follow my tastes - what would be the point of that? They are, however, expected to stake out their position and defend it using the terminology and theories that we’ve spent the semester discussing. And with District 9, you can go in a LOT of different directions! Who’s the Other? What role does technology play in our society and in how we interact with others (or Others)? Does the end justify the means? Is violence okay provided it’s directed outward at something alien and weird, or do we have an obligation to treat everyone with dignity? What ties people to each other? Heck, what’s a “person”? Hmm.
Meanwhile, over at the Great Buffy Re-Watch of 2011, it’s a Triple Crown of Episodes That Matter. Michael Holland writes about some major developments in Faith the Slayer that will have long-ranging - pardon the pun – consequences. And Ensley Guffey writes about a fan favorite, the Xander-centric episode “The Zeppo” when we get to see what the battles look like from a foot soldier’s perspective. Xander is usually the "odd man out," so it's especially interesting to see things from his point of view. I’ve always loved these three episodes (I've used "Consequences" in class before to discuss morality and I've used "The Zeppo" to discuss the importance of secondary characters, as a matter of fact) and the writing this week might just show you why. (OK, in the interest of full disclosure, Ensley Guffey and I share more than a last name. But seriously – it’s good stuff.) All this and there are also some notes about the use of music by the incomparable Steve Halfyard.
Coming Next Week:
Season 3 continues with the return of “Evil Willow” (squeee!), among other delights.