Independence Day chronicles a group of intrepid humans who save the Earth from aliens who behave like locusts, single-mindedly destroying everything in their path. With spectacular special effects, Independence Day was the first in a long string of apocalyptic films and has remained a pivotal movie in the alien invasion subgenre.
Many critics declared Independence Day a guilty pleasure, a film so bad it somehow became good. Some of its endurance is the way in which it uses all the clichéd alien invasion tropes – from the absent minded professor, through a rousing presidential speech on the eve of battle, to many famous last words (including the unforgettable “Hello, boys! I’m baaaack!”). But the film, despite its escapism, performs some interesting cultural work for us as readers. Independence Day’s use of aliens illuminates our perceptions of the self and the other, as well as our attitudes toward alienation.
A discussion will follow the screening. Please email Dr. Rivera for a copy of the discussion guide. Looking forward to seeing you there!