Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Imagination of Disaster: Sci-Fi

“The Imagination of Disaster” was written by Susan Sontag and published in RPC. In this article she comes up with valid explanations as to why Sci-Fi films are well, terrible. For the record, anytime I hear about a Sci-Fi film or book I immediately stop paying attention… they are just plain old BORING! She give us two primary examples of how these films lack originality. Their story lines compared to the story lines of today’s Sci-Fi films are predictable yet people watch them because like horror films they bring out a side of us we enjoy. Watching the world collapse and machine animals/aliens destroy it is what Sci-Fi fans crave, the same way some of us crave Vampires or shows based on supernatural creatures.  Sci-fi doesn’t offer horror but offers suspense and mystery.

But anyway, according to Sontag, “Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster…” (321). This is definitely where my attention was back on the reading. She goes on to explain how directors take these topics and over exaggerate just a bit. This particular belief is important to Sontag’s argument because it’s solid, at least from well-budgeted films. The mass destruction and action scenes that are presented to the viewers are what make the entire film. Yearning for peace, the UN fantasy, dehumanization and depersonalization (327-330) are all common themes amongst this genre.  Sontag’s attitude towards Sci-Fi doesn’t seem like she is actively engaged, however she is knowledgeable of the topic. Her countless references to movies from all decades prove this (but they are all a drag). Her tone during this article shows how much of a disinterest she has towards this topic.


  1. Hi, it is pretty good. Just a few things that Sontag also mentions that the audience is engaged in the film, for the long lasting cheerful endings. Those films also poke characters, such as identity and power, that afterward become boring. Lastly, there is the sense to make peace or peacefully coexist. How did you see the last paragraph?

    1. I Too am not a huge fan on sci-fi. But when I get into a movie or show I have to watch the entire thing. I want I see the happy ending. I'm currently watchin this series called war on titans. And it basically about humanity surviving these giant beings who eat people. The show is extremely disturbing and graphic but I have to see I humanity can survive.

  2. victor raises a good point, heaven. You're summary's missing a lot. It's also kind of bias, and I think you assumed Sontag's tone instead of really looking at it :-/