Reel One: In the film class, we continued our exploration of the ways aliens are depicted in film. Remember that last week was Ridley Scott's Alien, in which the alien is big, scary, ravenous, and pretty much only seen in bits and pieces until the very end. (It's brilliant to let the audience's imagination fill in the blanks - we always manage to scare ourselves better than anything we actually SEE!) This week was an overlooked gem of a film called Impostor. In this film, we've been at war with the Centauris for years now and we're not doing so well. We never actually see the enemy, for he has discovered a way to infiltrate our society. Walt Kelly's Pogo was right - the enemy is us. (Actually, the Pogo line is far sadder, for that enemy is us without an alien walking around in the skin.) At its heart, Impostor asks one of the biggest of questions - something that good science fiction does very, very well. Just what does it mean to be human? Impostor is based on a Philip K. Dick story, and Dick was nigh-obsessed with the idea of memory and its role in making us, well, us. Good discussion on this one and I look forward to my students proving to me that they are, in fact, human.
Reel Two: Over at the Rewatch, we deal with some different sorts of identity crises as Willow tries to put away magic, Riley returns from the jungle all growed up, and Xander calls off his wedding with nearly perfect bad timing. Have you ever seen that car pile-up of a show Bridezilla? Imagine the situation with an ex-demon. Who are you? How do you know? Who do you want to be? How do you get there?
I've heard it said that Babylon 5 (a show I'm beginning to watch in the next few weeks in an organized way instead of my up-to-now scattershot approach) boils existence down to two questions: Who are you? What do you want? We change, so the answers change. And it's always wise to know the answers to those two questions.
Coming Soon: Hold on to your hats, viewers! The film class takes on the magnificent neo-noir that is Proyas' Dark City and the Rewatch tackles insanity, reality, and sexual assault. (You were warned that Season Six got dark! But how else can you see the coming of the light?)