What's on at Crouch End Picturehouse - Film Course
Six Weeks on Wednesdays from 7 Nov, 7-9pm
The course will take place in the Community Room at Crouch End Picturehouse
Lecturer: Dr Eirini Konstantinidou
It has been often noted that science fiction films reflect the anxieties, hopes, fears and thoughts of their period. In their depiction of different themes they engage historical and political contexts through an interrogation of contemporary phenomena.
This course will explore the development of the genre in America from the 1950s onwards. We will discuss films that explore what it means to be human through questioning how technology affects identity, personal experience and human relationships. As film specialist J.P Telotte writes, SciFi as a genre foregrounds “our attitudes toward the real. Through that interrogation of the real, it asks a number of fundamental questions... How do we define ourselves, how do we construct our world, and even more broadly, how do we know?”
We will be taking in account the socio-cultural conditions of each period that the films of interest were made but also examine the directing and use of mise en scène (cinematography, set and costumes design) and analyse how they depict themes around human identity and relationships.
Week one: The 1950s – early 1960s
We will discuss the social context of Cold War anxiety that defined the period and sci-fi films that showed a shift in the genre from external threats and monsters to dangers coming from within.
Suggested Viewing: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, Don Siegel)
Week two: 1970s
Dystopias! Anxieties over overpopulation, media control, bureaucracy and consumerism are reflected on sci-fi films that explore different dystopias with negative endings.
Suggested Viewing: THX 1138 (1971, George Lucas)
Week Three: 1980s
As technology became more personal with breakthroughs in cybernetics and computer advancements Sci-fi films during this period began to explore the relationship of technology to human identity and memory.
Suggested Viewing: Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)
Week four: 1990s
With the development of visual technologies Virtual Reality takes centre stage in the preoccupations of science fiction and various films explore the idea of the hyperreal blurring the line between reality and fiction.
Suggested Viewing: Total Recall (1990, Paul Verhoeven)
Week Five: 2000s
Sci-fi films start exploring again the bigger picture, inspired by debates around Globalisation and anxieties around the future of the survival of Earthand humankind.
Suggested Viewing: District 9 (2009, Neill Blomkamp)
Week Six: 2010s
Sci-fi films of this decade explore different issues ranging from space travel to questions on Artificial Intelligence. We will focus on the combination of the superhero idea and proliferation of social media.
Suggested Viewing: Chronicle (2012, Josh Trank)
Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).