Friday, June 27, 2014

The Disastrous Imagination, The Iron Giant

The Imagination of Disaster was about Susan Sontag's perspective of science fiction. She believed science fiction had more to it than what they showed on the screen. In her essay it pointed out the different views she had about horror films, disaster, morality. She showed that in some movies made the representation may be more technical and political. She pointed out science was magic and there is always the good and bad side we crave to watch when we watch science fiction. The more disaster there was in movies the better the movie became. She also showed the difference between horror movies and science fiction. In science fiction there was more violence and destructions, but in horror movies it's shocking, and more gore. Overall this essay showed why were attracted to science fiction.

I agree with Sontag's perspective of science fiction. A film that solidifies Sontag's argument is The Iron Giant by Brad Bird (1999) and it fits under the characteristic of science fiction. It has mostly violence and destruction in the at the climax of the film which fits Sontag's description of science fiction. According to Sontag "Science fiction films invite a dispassionate aesthetic view of destruction and violence-a technological view"(324). In the film the Iron Giant, when the robot is discovered by the military they try to attack the robot leading it to complete chaos and destruction. This solidifies Sontag's argument that violence and destruction is a key factor to describing a science fiction film. In Sontag's view, "Of all the standard motifs of science fiction films, this theme of dehumanization is perhaps the most fascinating"(330). I agree that the film is fascinating when it comes to dehumanization because my experience with the film the Iron Giant solidifies it the robot is huge, but when he turns evil in his protective state he becomes a killing machine with multiple weapons that causes chaos and violence. Sontag herself writes,"Science is magic and a man has always known that there is black magic as well as white"(326). In the film the iron giant, it had a hero who was the iron giant and he had the balance of magic black because he was evil when highly provoked and white magic because he sacrificed himself in the end to save the world from a nuclear explosion. A political perspective could be taken from The Iron Giant because the robot can represent a foreign country and the government represents a superpower country trying to control a slight situation. Even though the Iron Giant has a hard time controlling himself , the iron giant decided to save the boys that were falling off a building.

When it comes to the topic of science fiction most of us will readily agree that it's entertaining but the problem is how do we classify the genres and whether or not it will become a general classification. Susan Sontag’s perspective brought light to the fact that science fiction and horror movies differentiate because in science fiction there isn't horror involved. Morality of science fiction is between two ideas, one being the use of science is good like curing a patient or it may be bad like the Iron Giant being a mass weapon of chaos and destruction. 

1 comment:

  1. Really great post! I hope you considered developing this into your essay! Though, as a parody (like Shaun of the Dead) how might The Iron Giant challenge Sontag's argument?