CW1 ESSAY QUESTIONS
1. Psychoanalysis is a common methodology applied to the analysis of horror and science fiction texts, especially when examining the maternal female body. Discuss the creation of the ‘monstrous feminine’ in a film of your choice (do not use Ridley Scott’s Alien), and what this representation of monstrosity conveys about gender relations, patriarchal society, and the creation of the abject.
2. What is Afrofuturism and why is it considered to be a current popular trend in contemporary Science Fiction? How does Afrofuturism engage with issues of Blackness within the conventions of the genre? Discuss in relation to at least two films.
3. “1950s alien invasion films played on fears of the time to create strong feelings of paranoia, with the ultimate goal of creating conformity in its audience.” Discuss this statement in relation to a 1950s alien invasion film and one made after 2000. Are alien invasion narratives inherently conservative texts?
4. “Dystopias generally project into the future the fears of the present”. Discuss this statement in relation to two films: one set in a dystopian city, the other set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
5. The robot on film is a body that looks human, but does not register affect. Ironically, these robot bodies often evoke strong feelings of fear and anxiety, or, conversely, feelings of attachment, sympathy and even sexual attraction in humans on screen and in the audience. Examine this phenomenon in relation to at least two films of your choice.
6. The sight of the zombie body always creates strong visceral responses – of fear, disgust, and occasionally of laughter. Examine the image of the zombie body – which has changed over time from an embodiment of colonial oppression, to a viral contagion, and more recently a sympathetic protagonist – and the strong affects that it evokes.
7. The figure of the vampire in horror cinema is one which embodies fluid notions of gender and sexuality. How do images of the vampire seduce and affect the viewer through the form of cinema itself?
8. In eco-horror films “the revolts of nature are extreme but understandable payback for the irrevocable damage that humanity has inflicted upon the natural world.” Examine how the ‘revenge of nature’ is expressed through non-human forms in two eco-horror films of your choice, and how/why this revenge is presented as righteous and justified.
9. Found footage films are a form of “post-cinema”, as described by Steven Shaviro, in that their form expresses what it feels like to live in a digitised world. Discuss this in relation to two found footage films.