Serenity to set up a contrast to last week's viewing of Watanabe's Cowboy Bebop. There are (of course) sound pedagogical reasons for the film to be included on the syllabus, but I'll admit that it's no hardship for me to sit through this one. I've seen Serenity literally dozens of times and there are still moments that make me snort with half-concealed laughter, catch my breath at the beauty of the composition, and - yes - make me proud of what humans can accomplish. (River's determined "My turn" is one of those moments, incidentally.) I'll have to see what the students thought in their longer responses this week and in the final paper, but the viewing seems to have been a success; not only in "gee, I liked that one" but also in terms of "hmm, this science fiction stuff can have some heft to it." One of the best moments for any teacher, regardless of the age and skill level of the students, has to be those all-too-rare flashes when you actually see it coming together for the pupil.
Rewatch, Season Seven continues. Nikki Stafford Her Own Bad Self is the poster this week and she gives some great backstory on the season itself, as well as discussing the three episodes up for analysis this week. I had forgotten how heartbreaking "Help" (7.4) was.
Up next week - the film students present their individual projects (topics range from robots to time travel to life in a post-apocalyptic world - then I think a little Firefly might be in order. (Or maybe, being the week before Thanksgiving, "Pangs" should be on the menu. Hmmm.)
Also - Slayage 5 proposals are due by December 1. I must finish that, along with making the corrections to the next draft of my contribution for The Joss Whedon Reader, in which I examine Whedon's Dollhouse in light of the cinematic theory of the male gaze and the myth of Echo and Narcissus. Fear not - it's easier to read than it may first appear!