“Be afraid. Be very afraid.” From the very beginning, Hollywood movies have offered a frightening reflection of our deep fear of technology, its effects, and sinister implications. Time-traveling terminators, resurrected dinosaurs, alien invasions, and virtual prisons all give us a sense of just how terrified Hollywood writers, directors, and producers think we are (or should be).
In this class we will investigate popular, pivotal movies and discuss their fears, warnings, and possible solutions to this ever-increasing cultural technophobia. Discussion topics will include: “the mad scientist and you,” “ghosts in the machines,” “malfunctioning machinations,” “risks and rewards,” and “the power of human ingenuity.”
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Check Out Our Last Classes!
Class 1: Jurassic Park
The first class covered the 1993 blockbuster film, Jurassic Park, and touched upon its many conflicts with technology, the ethics of genetic engineering, themes including “chaos vs. control,” and our cultural obsession with dinosaurs.
Class 2: The Matrix
This class covered the 1999 sci-fi/action film, The Matrix (Wachowski), and touch upon the many conflicts with technology, ethics of artificial intelligence and surveillance, themes including “fate vs. choice,” and our cultural obsession with truth and meaning.
Class 3: Star Wars: A New Hope
This class covered the 1977, sci-fi/ fantasy film, Star Wars: A New Hope and touch upon the many conflicts with technology, ethics of cybernetics, weapons of mass destruction, individuality in the face of automation, as well as themes including the “hero’s journey” and our pop cultural obsession with all things Star Wars.
Class 4: Gojira (Godzilla)
This class covered the 1954 classic Godzilla (Gojira) and discussed the fears, warnings, and possible solutions to this ever-increasing cultural technophobia. Discussion topics included: man vs nature, weapons of mass destruction, tensions between tradition and progress, and the hunt for mad scientists in a post-WWII Japan.
Class 5: July 12th Independence Day