Monday, June 16, 2014

Movie Talk on Sunday: Visiting Aliens

There's a Twitter movie chat that happens every Sunday, and I occasionally get to participate. The idea is that every week, Twitter user assigns a movie-related topic and asks 10 questions around that topic for people to respond to. I thought the questions (and offered answers) this time were so interesting that I wanted to share it on my blog as well. In this case, for all my answers, I typically went with the first one that came to mind, figuring I'd trust my instincts. I still stand by most of my choices, though, as you'll see, I changed one of them while writing this blog.

It’s the alien invasion. Only, they’re benign, and curious about our world. We’re an oddity, and they want to learn about us. You have been chosen, against all odds, to give them an idea of the films that this planet makes. You want to give a good variety of films for them. So, what film would you show them to show the following…?

Q1. What film best depicts human kindness, and why? #MTOS
My response: Lars and the Real Girl. You can't watch that movie and NOT feel good about people.
Other interesting choices from Twitter: 12 Angry Men, It's a Wonderful Life, The Iron Giant

Q2. What film best depicts human cruelty, and why? #MTOS
My response: I'm going to go with Se7en. It simultaneously portrays everyone as being awful and everyone somehow being worth fighting for.
Other interesting choices: Schindler's List, 12 Years a Slave, Pan's Labyrinth

Q3. What film best depicts human humour, and why? #MTOS
My response: Oh, man, human humor is so varied! I think I'm going with Modern Times, because slapstick's pretty global.
Other interesting choices: Airplane!, Monty Python, His Girl Friday

Q4. What film best depicts human history, and why? #MTOS
My response: I think right now I'm feeling Gandhi, to demonstrate that there is always chaos and always SOMEONE working against the chaos.
Other interesting choices: Metropolis, The Seventh Seal, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Q5. What film best depicts how we rewrite or romanticise our own history, and why? #MTOS
My response: Hmm. Evita. The conflict between a romanticized truth and a darker truth is a major part of the story. (Although in retrospect, I change my answer: Midnight in Paris all the way. I just didn't think of it at the time.)
Other interesting choices: Back to the Future, Inglourious Basterds, Life Is Beautiful

Q6. What film best depicts how we show our natural present day world, and why? #MTOS
My response: TV movie The Lorax (haven't seen the new one). The message is that the natural world is beautiful and we keep breaking it. (I had a tough time coming up with answer for this.)
Other interesting choices: Koyaanisqatsi, Black Fish, Planet Earth documentaries

Q7. What film best depicts how we show our man-made present day world, and why? #MTOS
My response: WALL-E. Though it's futuristic, it covers positives and negatives of new technology, plus the whole "it's making us lazier!"
Other interesting choices: The Truman Show, The Social Network, Dr. Strangelove

Q8. What film best depicts how we view potentially benevolent / hostile alien species, and why? #MTOS
My response: The 1950s The Day the Earth Stood Still. It shows how quickly we start panicking and what an alien might have to do to stay alive.
Other interesting choices: District 9 (also one I considered), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day

Q9. What film best depicts how we envisage the future could be like, and why? #MTOS
My response: V for Vendetta. Or really any dystopian future. We are SCARED of the future, folks.
Other interesting choices: Robot and Frank, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Children of Men

Q10. What single film best sums up the human condition? #MTOS
My response: Annie Hall. A constant search for SOMETHING, followed by, eventually, adapting when we don't get what we want.
Other interesting choices: Groundhog Day, Schindler's List, A Clockwork Orange

So there you have it. I would show the aliens Lars and the Real Girl, Se7en, Modern Times, Gandhi, Midnight in Paris, The Lorax, WALL-E, The Day the Earth Stood Still, V for Vendetta, and Annie Hall. That's... an interesting lineup.

Share your thoughts and suggestions!

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