My good friend, Sam Fragoso, who runs the site Duke and the Movies has recently proposed a blog-a-thon he has titled the Extraterrestrial Blog-a-thon. Contributions were asked to be published on Friday May 11. Before I delve into my choices, I'll relay Sam's thesis and give you an idea of what it is all about.
Films emulate reality through the creation of imagination. And within that imagination we perpetually are shown a new world, time, or place.
During great films we sometimes view parts of ourselves in the characters , or perhaps we see a society we live in or know of, being portrayed and observed in a light we've never seen before. Nevertheless, the purpose of going to the movies, as most perceive, is to be transported from reality.
However, every once in a while we receive more than what we expect, and it stirs our emotion in ways that often can't be articulated.
Extraterrestrial forces land on Earth. Unknowing of our planet and society, you can pick five films from the history of cinema that represent humanity. What titles would you choose and why?
So, what are my choices? Well, this was tough, but I tried to place these in a specific order to establish a thematic development through the different levels of humanity - acts of atrocity reciprocated by acts of kindness for example. Most of these are fairly bleak, but a couple present supremely uplifting finales. I also did not take into account whether these Extraterrestrial forces knew the language - which would mean that the visuals would be the most important feature of the films in question. But, here goes:
The Shawshank Redemption - Is there a more beautiful and moving tale of friendship and never-surrendered hope?
There Will Be Blood - Capitalism vs. Religion are at tense odds in this unsettling film, and what two ideologies are both simultaneously rewarding for the individual and destructive for humanity as a whole?
Schindler's List - Extreme despicableness, reciprocated by an extraordinary act of kindness.
Children of Men - How would humanity react if they knew they were soon to become extinct? Deplorably. But there are some who emerge as unlikely heroes.
Trois Couleurs: Rouge - This is a film that makes you feel alive as you are watching it. How much do we value the influence of chance and coincidence in our lives? The ending will bring those Extraterrestrials to tears.