Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shakespeare in Space?

Reel One:  The film class made the leap to color this week.  For our last "early classic," we took in Wilcox's Forbidden Planet, a film with one of the most misleading and pulp-lurid posters of the 1950s.  I must admit to really enjoying watching my students watch this one.  It's certainly a 1950s view of the future with a flying saucer just chock-full of slide-rule instrumentation (then again, science fiction commonly has views of the future that are dictated by the time in which the film was made - you don't seem atomic-ray altered monsters until after WW2 had shown us the destruction that slamming atoms together could create).  It also has Robby the Robot, a mechanical man who can create ten tons of lead alloy or run up a (very short) dress with the skill of a pageant designer with an atomic BeDazzler.  Toss in a good dose of Shakespeare's The Tempest and you've got a movie that can hold up over the years.  Even a nice dollop of Freud - I've asked my students to consider what their own "monsters from the Id" might be like - that should be educational!

Reel Two:  Over at the Rewatch, the dark tone of the first three episodes of the sometimes schizoid Season 6 gives way to some frothy comedic fun.  (It won't last - seriously, Season Six goes darker than dark, which makes the comedy both a little jarring and quite, quite welcome when you get it.)  Buffy has to pay bills, Dawn goes on a Halloween date and - oh, kitten poker!  There's something ESPN should sink its broadcasting teeth into!

Coming Soon: I may not see much sunlight this weekend, but at the end of it, I hope I can report that my paper for the New Orleans conference is drafted.  Next week, over at the Rewatch, a dissertation of scholars takes on "Once More with Feeling" and explores why Buffy wants something to sing about.  The film class is slated to discover that broad comedy and science fiction can indeed mix by exploring the wildly colorful splendor that is Luc Besson's The Fifth Element.

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