Science Fiction Cinema

The emergence of science fiction as a popular genre coincides with the earliest days of cinematic history, when George Méliès produced his classic Trip to the Moon (1902). Inviting reflection on crucial issues, sci-fi film displaces the problems of our world to a fantastic or futuristic plane. In doing so, these films critique and comment on established norms, social hierarchies, and power dynamics. Though often derided as a “lesser” genre, sci-fi film confronts some of most fundamental questions of the human experience—such as the origin of life, our place in the universe, nature, God, and the double-edged sword of technological advancement. This course will emphasize how sci-fi subverts our expectations of the modern world by examining the style and themes of a diverse selection of film from around the world.