What can be better than spending an hour in a darkened room listening to a guy talk about Science-Fiction movies? Well, a lot, to be honest, but it’s still a pretty decent way to kill an hour of your time if you’re a total Sci-Fi nerd like I am.
Professor Stuart Price has A LOT to say about Science-Fiction cinema - particularly, as the title of the event suggests, about Violence, Knowledge and Repetition in Science-Fiction cinema. His observations on the narrative themes commonly found in Sci-Fi stories - repetition, where characters experience the same situation over and over again (evident in such films as Edge of Tomorrow and Source Code) and knowledge (evident in such films as Minority Report) - were both fascinating and unsettling. Why do Sci-Fi storytellers do this? What is the reason, the meaning, behind such repetition? Why is knowledge so important?
As both a student of Media Studies at A-Level, and of Film Studies here at DMU, I found I was able to understand quite a lot of Professor Price’s lecture. His mentioning of de Saussure’s Binary Opposition theory, Propp’s Character theories, and Todorov’s Equilibrium theory (concepts that propose the media follows a particular set of narrative restrictions) in fact made the lecture feel very reminiscent of my usual classes. And of course, I was familiar with all the films Price took examples from.
All in all, I found Professor Price’s talk both enlightening and enjoyable.