Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Imagined Futures in Sci-fi: The Day the Earth Stood Still

I am taking a course called "Utopia/Dystopia: Imagined Futures in Sci-fi" which focuses on science fiction films from the fifties to the present. I will be writing a few words about each of the films I watch in class.

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Directed by Robert Wise
Released September 28, 1951

I really do enjoy watching this movie. I had seen it once before viewing it in this context. It is wonderfully corny but works remarkably well despite its obvious dated nature. The fact that it won a Golden Globe award for "Best Film Promoting International Understanding" is very telling of its signficance in the time as far as its importance to ideals of peace and war, and that does not even touch upon the fact that it was a crucial step in the evolution of science fiction. The immediate negative reaction of the people towards the arrival of the aliens and their first impulse towards fear, hatred, and violence serves a dual role in representing relations between both men and other men and men and the unknown. And I can honestly that I was actively interested every moment, something which I find rare when watching older films.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I felt a very similar set of emotions while viewing The Day the Earth Stood Still, one of the very first sc-fi films I ever watched. Robert Wise, who passed away in late 2005, also directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first Star Trek feature film. It depicted the struggle to meld science with faith and artificiality with the organic; unfortunatelty he failed with his seventies audience. I did not care very much for the film either; that's a difficult statement for me to say about anything containing the words Star Trek. I highly reccomend it, if you have a few hours.

Looking forward to the next review.