Describe dystopian themes in cyberpunk genre films.

Words: 1108
Pages: 5

Dystopian themes in cyberpunk genre films, with a special focus on how to reveal the dystopian characteristics of future society through a cyberpunk perspective. Movies I would consider include Blade Runner 2049 or Ghost in the Shell. What interests me most about these films is how they use the context of a high-tech future world to explore themes of individual identity, the complex relationship between humanity and technology, and power, control, and freedom.
CI think using identity and technology as the focus will help you to zero in on these aspects of the films so that the paper/the theme or argument it pursues, is manageable. Power, control and freedom are bigger and broader terms but I think you may mean the ways in which technology is our best friend/our helper and something that frees us in a number of ways (from space/time constraints for example with the internet/smartphones) but they are also a means of surveillance and control. The dark and light sides of recent technological advancements that are very based around the individual and entwined enmeshed with their lives. Sources work for me as well. Google scholar’s a good place to find lots written about each film if you need anything else (these are acceptable tho!). There are a number of articles that discuss both films
I will provide a list of in-class reading PDFS and in-class movies, but an external academic source is also required.
Length: 5-7 pages (1250 words, typed, double-spaced, 12-point times new roman font or similar, 1 inch margins)
Topic: Write an argumentative essay on the theme of “otherness” as expressed in a sci-fi film not viewed for this course through one of the lenses/weekly themes we’ve used in class and supporting that analysis with at least one article from the course and one outside source (for example, you might write about class and capitalist ideology in Ready Player One, or racist stereotypes in The Time Machine).
“Lenses” or course themes:
Sci-Fi cities and settings
Philosophies of the self (within which you might consider one any of: existentialism/death, ID/Ego, Memory/conceptions of humanness/personhood)
Ideology and othering, class
Gender, including feminism/gaze theory, masculinity/femininity/non-binary identities
Ethnicity, Colonialism, and Immigration
Race, Stereotype, and Racial “Others” in Sci-Fi
The Cyborg Intervention (binary breakdowns), cyberpunk, gender identity, disability and other concerns of the body
Dystopian and/or Environmental Sci Fi
The apocalypse

Your essay should focus on one or at most two films. This doesn’t mean you can’t refer to other films as part of your discussion (just as, for example, many of the articles mention Metropolis or The Matrix as they discuss other films primarily), but simply that the focus of the paper should be limited to a film or at most a pair of films.
The film must comes from the approved film listLinks to an external site. OR be approved by me. I may add films to the approved list or approve a specific title that’s not on it if it will work for the paper.
The film cannot be one of the assigned films from class (though you may mention those in your discussion if relevant). If you decide to write about 2 films ONE of the two may come from those viewed for class.
You may write about a TV series instead of a film only with prior approval
Use and cite a total of TWO academic/scholarly sources: 1 may be a reading from class and the other must be outside academic sources that engage the material in general or your shows in particular. Additional Internet or popular journalistic sources are welcome, once you hit the required number of academic sources.
Recommended/Supplemental readings for this course CAN count as outside sources and can be found in files under recommended readings.
Do some close reading/textual analysis of key aspects/scenes/events of the film to illustrate your points (depending on your topic, this may be a larger or smaller part of your paper, but everyone should do at least some of this).
Paper Structure:
Title Page:
Title of essay with main title and subtitle, one of which should include your shows’ titles (puns are encouraged), e.g.: Fast and Furiosa: Women’s Anger in Mad Max: Fury Road
Name; Course Number; Term
State your topic: the film and theme(s) you’ll be discussing.
State the thesis: the main point you’ll be making about the film or the particular area of focus for the paper
In identifying the films, give the original dates and last name of director in parens (the first time mentioned), e.g., Alien (Scott, 1979).
Proceed with your analysis, covering the points discussed above.
Incorporate your readings in a way that furthers your argument.
As much as possible, but only with secure understanding, use terms derived from lecture and readings.
Try to stick to your thesis. Extraneous information should be edited out or relegated to content footnotes.
All sources must be cited, whether drawn on indirectly or quoted directly, using one of the approved citation methods (MLA, CMS, APA).
Summarize your findings, avoiding redundancy.
End with a strong statement that gives a clear sense of what you have tried to show.
Additional Pointers:
Make sure to number your pages!
Underline or put in italics all titles (TV shows, films, books, etc.); episode and article titles are put in quotes.
When referring to individuals, give the full name the first time they are mentioned, thereafter only the second name: e.g., “Margarett Tarratt uses the term “Id” to describe ….” “Tarratt provides evidence to support the claim that….”
When describing a film’s content, use the present tense: e.g., “In Alien, Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver)becomes the “final girl” when she is left alone the Nostromo, at which point, fittingly given this trope, she undresses.
To indicate a film’s historical relations, use the past tense: e.g., “Alienwas filmed in the wake of the feminist movement of the 1960s.”
No plot summaries! Certainly bring in story information, but only enough to support your points and allow the reader to follow along.

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