As one of the “Virtual Reality” themed movies that have been popular over the last 20 years, Sim0ne has some interesting connections to films like Tron, The Matrix, Open your Eyes (Vanilla Sky), The Truman Show, and a wide range of televisions shows (including Star Trek, Farscape, reality TV, and, more recently, Lost, to name a few). However, there are some significant differences between most other “VR” shows and Sim0ne and we might even say that Sim0ne serves as a commentary on “VR” films in general. As one advertisement for Tron promised “The Future is Now”. In what ways does Sim0ne comment on our “now”? What is the film trying to say about Western/American culture? What about the psychology of people who live in that culture? What is it trying to say about Hollywood as emblematic of the “American Dream”?
After completing your initial background research into your topics of choice, use what you have found so far to begin exploring ideas for your research project. This should take the form of a 250-500 word journal entry (not simply a list). What are the topics you might want to write about? Why? What "controversies" or "issues" inform your topic? What do you already know and what have you found so far (on the web). You may also want to begin outlining. Please see the “Writer’s Life” class blog for some ideas on how to precede.
Based on our class discussion of themes in the Matrix and the viewing of the Star Trek episode "The Royale" and the Farscape Episode "A Human Reaction", write 500 words in your blog on a particular theme, cinematic element, symbol, or etc. that interests you in our materials do far. You may, as always, reference films and readings from your other classes or your own experience.
For the fourth blog, I would like you to do some initial thinking about a potential 103 research project which will be due at the end of the semester. Start by listing your interests and thinking about things you might like to learn more about and share with the class. Your subject should be about some aspect of media, though this is obviously a VERY large topic and you can use ANY of the cluster classes to get ideas. You can look at my blog for my own pre-writing on my topic (and/or the Writer's Life class that is already working on their projects).
For the second blog, write a response (250-500 word) to The Matrix. You may use any of the readings or anything else you know (other films and etc.) to frame your ideas. You may discuss one or two themes or ideas you saw or read about, ask questions that you would like to find the answers to, or anything else as long as you do not summarize the plot except to illustrate a point. Be sure to read and respond to classmates' posts that you find interesting!
C. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia CC. He has published books and articles on gender in science fiction film and fantasy and is an active science and technology writer.