Dr. Strangelove

What does this 1964 black comedy about a nuclear doomsday scenario tell us about the strategic thought surrounding potential nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the early years of the 1960s? How does the film play with the concept of a ‘doomsday machine’ as described in the strategic literature of the day? […]

Life is Beautiful

What does this 1997 film, set in fascist Italy during WWII, tell us about the gathering threat in Northern Italy for its Jewish citizens, and how the main character, Guido and his family cope with it? Why does the film explore the Holocaust in the guise of one half of the film being a romantic […]

Meet the Robinsons

How does this 2007 animated feature play with the premise of time travel and multiple histories or parallel universes? How does the film cause us to consider the plausibility of its main character, Lewis, being able to interact with his adult self after having time travelled into the future? How does the film illustrate the […]

Nineteen Eighty-Four

What does this 1984 adaptation of the 1949 George Orwell novel tell us about the totalitarian tendency in human history? How does it adumbrate upon the surveillance state as exemplified in Stalinist Russia? What role does emerging technology of the day play in Orwell’s vision? How does the film do as a portrait of the […]

I Am Legend

How does this 2007 film, based on the 1954 Richard Matheson novel, depart from that book? How effective is the film in focusing on the isolation and loneliness of its protagonist, Neville? How does the dog, ‘Sam’ serve to illustrate that loneliness? What other devices are used to this end? How does the film engage […]

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

How does this 2000 film engage with and differ from Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, on which it is loosely based? How do various characters in the film, which is set in the deep South during the depression, reflect famous characters in that story? How does the film portray the role of popular music in […]

Old

What does this 2021 film premised on the notion of accelerated aging, attempt to tell us about the emotional and psychological impact such events would have on people suffering through it? How does the film portray the rapid onset of maturation in the children involved? How do the characters of the two parents, Prisca and […]

United 93

What does this film, which portrays the events of 9/11/2001 tell us about the responsibilities, training and level of professionalism of the air-traffic controllers involved? How does the film portray uncertainty and lack of information and its effect on the involved people? How does it show the difficulty involved in overcoming assumptions people bring with […]

First They Killed My Father

What does this 2017 film, set during the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge reign of terror in Cambodia tell us about the radical nature of the communist project of restructuring human society and psychology? Why did the Khmer Rouge resort to using children as soldiers and cadre? How did Pol Pot differ from Stalin, Mao and Ho […]

Green Snake

How does this film’s use of the concept of reincarnation allow it to act as an exploration of human nature? Why do the snakes, a species of what are called “evils” in the film desire to become human? What is involved in the centuries-long training they are undergoing to attain reincarnation as human beings? Why […]