'Blade Runner' and Film Education: Didactic Possibilities of Teaching Film Literacy in the TEFL Classroom


Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2008
53 Pages, Grade: 1,0

Excerpt

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Main Part
2.1. Film Education in the TEFL Classroom
2.1.1. Didactic Value of Films as a TEFL Device
2.1.2. Film Education and Film Literacy as TEFL Learning Targets
2.1.3 Approaches of Film Education
2.1.3.1 The Cognitive or Analytic Approach
2.1.3.2 The Aesthetic Approach
2.1.3.3. The Process- and Product-Oriented Approach
2.1.3.4. Conclusion
2.1.4. Practical Aspects of Teaching Film – Film Selection, Screening Modes and Phases
2.1.5. Filmic Adaptations of Literary Texts
2.2 The Didactic Value of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner for TEFL Film Education
2.3 Methodological Considerations
2.4 Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner
2.4.1 A Milestone in Cinematic Science Fiction
2.4.2 Summary of Plot (Original Theatrical Version 1982)
2.4.3. Topics and Interpretations
2.4.3.1. Artificial Life, Racism and Humanity
2.4.3.2. Memory, Reality and Identity - A Critique on Cartesian Philosophy
2.4.3.3 Los Angeles 2019 – Retrofitted Dystopian Megalopolis
2.4.3.4 Allusions to the Christian Bible
2.5. Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
2.5.1. Summary of Plot
2.5.2. Topics and Interpretations
2.6. Sample Exercises for Blade Runner
2.6.1. Analysis of Film Language in Blade Runner
2.6.1.1. Film Poster Analysis
2.6.1.2. Macro Analysis – Hybrid Genre “Future Noir"
2.6.1.3. Macro Analysis – Examination of Narrative Elements
2.6.1.4 Micro Analysis of Scenes
2.6.2. Intertextual Approaches
2.6.2.1. Comparison of Different Cut Versions
2.6.2.2. Analysis of Motion Picture and Novel
2.6.2.3. Film Posters and Book Covers
2.6.2.4. Film Scripts and Audio Adaptations
2.6.2.5. Other Novels by Philip K. Dick and Their Filmic Adaptations

3. Conclusion

4. Bibliography

5. Appendix
5.1. Appendix 1: Film Noir Elements in Blade Runner
5.2. Appendix 2: Is Deckard a Replicant Himself?
5.3. Appendix 3: Similarities and Differences in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

1. Introduction

Film is not only the central key medium of the 20th and 21st century, it is also a form of art which possesses its own aesthetics, iconography and language. (cf. Krüger 2005: 7; Willig, 2006: 134ff; Roller 2006: 74; Bergala 2006: 41) Furthermore, it is an important cultural and educational asset, and belongs to the first cultural experiences that children have in Western societies. Film also plays a prominent role in socialisation processes of children and juveniles, since popular movies provide orientation in questions of identity, offer role models and act as an initiation to the world of adults. Cult movies furthermore mirror the zeitgeist of a generation and shape its view of the world as well as its attitude towards life. (cf. Willig 2006: 131; Duve & Krüger 2006:8; Roller 2006: 49f, 77f)

Despite these facts film education is still partly neglected in schools or embedded in general educational concepts. Schools are still bastions of the written word and schooling remains primarily based on literary texts. Unfortunately, film is commonly regarded a medium of shallow entertainment and thus seldom dealt with in educational contexts. Exceptions are literary adaptations which complement or contrast written texts, and supplementary film footage. These cases rather focus on content and context without considering film language or the production process of films. Furthermore, movies are often shown as entertaining stopgaps in class, especially before holidays, which is detrimental to the reputation of didactic film use. (cf. Krüger 2005: 7; Willig 2006: 134; Blell & Lütge 2004: 405)

Film education is already practiced in some European countries, for instance in England, France and in Scandinavia. (cf. Wharton & Grant 2005: 7; Krüger 2005: 7; Willig 2006: 132ff) German curricula also allow for films, but mostly as part of media education, which is embedded in several subjects and aims at providing students with media competence. This competence should enable them to orient themselves in a world dominated by audio-visual media. It wants to support a conscious and critical handling of media, as well as a creative and self-determined one. By understanding and questioning media contents and aesthetics students should be protected from being controlled by the media. (cf. Surkamp 2004: 2; Willig 2006: 131f, 137; Roller 2006: 73; Holighaus 2005a: 9) Film education in a narrower sense, aiming at film competence or film literacy, still has to be promoted in schools, though. (cf. Krüger 2005: 7)

The intention of the paper at hand is to show possible applications of Ridley Scott’s science-fiction thriller Blade Runner, which foster film literacy within the context of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). First, it will explain the didactic value of films as TEFL devices, define film literacy as a learning target, and present an overview on approaches and methods of teaching film. In doing so, a special focus will be set on film adaptations of literary texts. Then, the paper will turn to Scott’s science-fiction masterpiece and provide a summary of its plot as well as a survey on prominent topics and interpretations. Afterwards it will likewise deal with its literary basis, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? As an example how to bridge the gap between theory and practice, the last section will finally present sample exercises for the use of the movie in the TEFL classroom. It will cover an analysis of film language as well as intertextual tasks.

2. Main Part

2.1. Film Education in the TEFL Classroom

2.1.1. Didactic Value of Films as a TEFL Device

The usage of film in the TEFL classroom has many advantages. First of all, films are highly motivating for children and juveniles. (Blell & Lütge 2004: 405; Willig 2006:134; Zerweck 2004: 40f, 44) In addition, watching movies is an integral part of learners’ leisure time activities. This familiarity with the medium creates a supportive atmosphere for a contact with a foreign language and culture. This setting encourages students to participate, while movies provide ample occasions and incentives for oral communication and written tasks, for instance by eliciting emotional reactions and personal statements. Additionally, by virtue of their specific design elements, films afford the opportunity to combine cognitive and analytic approaches with creative, activity-oriented and process-oriented ones. (Surkamp 2004: 3)

The combination of images, speech and sounds furthermore appeals to many senses and involves several cognitive abilities, which makes movies more comprehensible than purely language-based texts. (Surkamp 2004: 3) Film dialogues contain important non-verbal and paralinguistic aspects of communication, e.g. facial expressions, gesture, body language, intonation, speech rate, pauses, etc., which are seldom allowed for in foreign language teaching. Moreover, these aspects help learners to understand dialogues by disburdening them of a sole dependence on verbal comprehension. (cf. Blell & Lütge 2004: 404f; Surkamp 2004: 3)

Aside from supporting the traditional four core competences of language teaching (listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking and writing) the use of movies also facilitates a fifth competence which Schwerdtfeger termed “visual comprehension” (Sehverstehen). This competence is not only important for the understanding of speech, but also of crucial relevance for learners’ ability and motivation to speak. (cf. Blell & Lütge 2004: 402; Surkamp 2004: 3)

Furthermore, films are authentic cultural products, which contextualise the target language and make it more accessible for learners. As cultural products they provide insights into foreign ways of living, values and norms, and represent different views of the world. They express cultural self-concepts of other societies, illustrate their histories and mentalities, as well as mirror central conflicts and disputes which occur in foreign cultures. Due to this, movies can make an important contribution to the development of students’ intercultural competence. (cf. Blell & Lütge 2004: 404f; Surkamp 2004: 3; Bredalla 2004: 28; Zerweck 2004: 40, 44)

In Germany several federal states acknowledged and allowed for these facts by incorporating the use of films in their TEFL curricula. Nonetheless, the main focus is rather set on the development of media competence than on teaching film competence. One example of a federal state that explicitly states the teaching of characteristics and techniques of film language is Lower Saxony. (cf. Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium 2003: 35; Blell & Lütge 2004: 403) Unfortunately, didactic literature and school book publishers sparsely offer concrete suggestions for the use of movies in the TEFL classroom. (cf. Surkamp 2004: 2)

2.1.2. Film Education and Film Literacy as TEFL Learning Targets

Film education intents a visual alphabetisation of learners in film language in order to provide them with film competence. This competence can also be used in language teaching to demonstrate links, parallels and differences to printed texts. (cf. Blell & Lütge 2004: 402; Holighaus 2005a: 9; Willig 2006: 131, 135)

Blell & Lütge coined the term “film literacy” to describe the competences which are targeted at by film education in TEFL. Film literacy denotes the capability to deal appropriately, critically and social-responsibly, but also in a self-determined and creative way with films within a foreign-language and intercultural context. (Blell & Lütge 2004: 404) It comprises four sub-competences which are interdependent and mutually influence each other.

The competence of perception and differentiation (Wahrnehmungs- und Differenzierungskompetenz) corresponds with Schwerdtfeger’s “visual comprehension”. It aims at awareness raising concerning processes of intentional visual perception and their importance for speech production and the creation of meaning. In order to support processes of perception and production it also covers the acquisition of a basic knowledge referring to the forms of arranging filmic material. Finally, this competence should provide the basis for a vigilant and critical attitude towards the manipulations of human perception, thinking and actions by films. (Blell & Lütge 2004: 403f)

A competence of film aesthetics and criticism (filmästhetische und –kritische Kompetenz) should enable learners to critically analyse and evaluate filmic contents, and sensitise them for the artistic nature of movies and their aesthetics. It comprises filmic means of expression along with their respective functions, as well as a general open-mindedness to the affective aspects of movies. Similar to the first competence, knowledge, skills and attitude should raise a critical awareness concerning manipulating effects of film. (Blell & Lütge 2004: 404)

Intercultural competence aims at understanding foreign cultural phenomena and broadening learners’ cultural horizons. This competency includes knowledge on cultural aspects of foreign societies and an ability to reflect upon one’s own culture. (Blell & Lütge 2004: 404f)

Finally, film literacy also encompasses a communicative and action-oriented competence in the foreign language (fremdsprachliche Handlungs- und Kommunikationskompetenz). This presupposes a visually guided listening comprehension (fremdsprachliches Seh-Hörverstehen), which includes paralinguistic and supra-segmental aspects, and a study of complex communicative structures within movies. Learners should be enabled to emotionally respond to movies and to give personal comments, as well as qualified to become more autonomous in speech production. (Blell & Lütge 2004: 404)

2.1.3 Approaches of Film Education

In film education there are many ways to facilitate film literacy, which can be divided into three categories: a cognitive or analytical approach, an approach based on the perception of film aesthetics, and a process- and product-oriented approach. Is has to be pointed out that these classifications are on an ideal nature, since most didactic proposals contain elements of more than one category.

2.1.3.1 The Cognitive or Analytic Approach

The cognitive approach is based on film analysis and examines the form of movies. It provides the “hard facts” and the terminology, which are necessary for the understanding of movies, as well as for a profound discussion about them. (cf. Roller 2006: 72f, 77f)

This approach can be exemplified by a teaching of film language proposed by Wharton and Grant, who intent to provide students with critical tools to analyse films independently and to prepare them for film production. (Wharton & Grant 2005: 12, 15) Film language in their terms comprises all filmic means of expression and ways to create meaning in movies. It also refers to narrative elements like story, characterisation and representation, but is mainly focussed on cinematic aspects, for instance mise en scéne, editing, sound, special effects, as well as on genre considerations and the star system of Hollywood. Their view of film language is that of a constantly evolving system of signs, which can be read by semiotic techniques. They also point out that it is not universal, but specific to the respective cultural sphere a movie is produced in. (Wharton & Grant 2005: 8f)

Wharton and Grant differentiate between two ways of examining film language. A macro analysis focuses on the way film language works within the movie as a whole (narrative) or in a relation to a group of films (genre). It includes considerations about the development of characters or themes, generic features and aspects of representation, as well as about the Hollywood star system. (Wharton & Grant 2005: 10) A micro analysis on the other hand deals with production techniques and how they are used to create meaning in an individual scene. It considers aspects like miser en scéne, sound, special effects and editing. (Wharton & Grant 2005: 10)

Both analytic methods can be applied independently, but since the macro and the micro level of film language are intertwined and interdependent, a combination of both methods will yield the most illuminative insights.

2.1.3.2 The Aesthetic Approach

The second approach is based on the perception of film aesthetics by the audience. While the cognitive method analyses the form of films, this way of approaching film language analyses the effects of movies on the viewer. It argues that the effects and the general impression of movies are created by the recipient who beholds the fictional world in the light of his own conceptions and view of the world. (cf. Bredalla 2004: 31; Roller 2006: 57f) This approach intents a sensitisation of students concerning their role in the perception and evaluation of film. Thus, they should be given the opportunity to express their impressions, to state their fascination or dislike, and be prompted to give reasons for them. Furthermore, learners are supposed to evaluate movies and compare their value judgements in order to become aware of their own value systems. (cf. Bredalla 2004: 30f; Roller 2006: 58, 68,75f; Duve & Krüger 2006: 8)

2.1.3.3. The Process- and Product-Oriented Approach

The third method emphasises the danger that film education overly strains the cognitive and analytical abilities of students and neglects their individual needs and emotions. Thus, process- and product-oriented tasks intent to raise learners’ creativity, create incentives to reflect on the respective film, and to leave room for individual impressions and opinions in various ways. This approach makes use of pre-, while- and post-viewing activities to reach its goals. For an overview on possible activities see the article by Surkamp (cf. Surkamp 2004: 6ff).

2.1.3.4. Conclusion

The three approaches stand for three different, ideal ways to teach film and foster film literacy. As already indicated they seldom occur in their pure form in didactic practice, but usually in hybrid forms. Such combinations of approaches are reasonable, since a plurality of methods can cover more facets of film and is also desirable with respect to diversified lessons.

2.1.4. Practical Aspects of Teaching Film – Film Selection, Screening Modes and Phases

Aside from the choice of a general approach several practical aspects have to be considered in teaching film, for instance the selection of suitable movies, screening modes and phases.

Films should be appropriate for the respective learner group. They should be age-based, but also exhibit a high standard what content and film language is concerned. Extending students’ cinematic experiences and knowledge, the movies should also question and challenge them. (cf. Willig 2006: 137; Zerweck 2004: 41) A detailed film analysis or a linguistically demanding movie is only suitable for advanced students with an A-level standard (Leistungskurs in der gymnasialen Oberstufe in Germany). (cf. Surkamp 2004: 5; Zerweck 2004: 40)

Basically, there are three screening modes. The block method shows the whole movie, the interval method only presents segments of the movie which are geared to certain activity-orien-ted steps with respective tasks, while the “sandwich method” alternately uses film segments and complementary written texts, e.g. excerpts from a script or a literary source the movie is based on. (Surkamp 2004: 6)

The work on films can be divided into three phases with respective activities: pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing. Pre-viewing activities raise expectations, help students to tune in on the film, and familiarize them with film language. While-viewing activities in return aim at the understanding of content and filmic means of expression. Post-viewing activities finally give students an opportunity to express personal impressions, reactions and opinions. They ask open questions concerning individual perceptions of the movie and provide for creative forms of dealing with the movie. For an overview on different pre-, while- and post-viewing tasks see the article by Surkamp. (cf. Surkamp 2004: 6ff)

2.1.5. Filmic Adaptations of Literary Texts

As already mentioned in the introduction, there is a strong tendency in TEFL to make use of screen adaptations of literary texts, mostly subsequent to the discussion of a novel or drama. In this cases movies are used as a contrastive medium, while the film analysis is overshadowed by a lopsided and partial focus on the literary source text, which neglects an adequate treatment of film as an independent form of art. (cf. Blell & Lütge 2004: 405)

This common practice is based on a nearly axiomatic notion of a putative superiority of literature to film, which persistently prevails in society. Adaptations are regarded inferior versions and criticism focuses on what is lost in the adaptation process ignoring what is gained. (cf. Stam 2005: 3ff, 46) Thus, films are analysed under the perspective of an adaptation’s fidelity to the literary work it is based on. Fidelity discourse asks questions about the filmic recreation of setting, plot, characters, themes and style of the literary opus. (cf. Stam 2005: 5f, 14f; Surkamp 2004: 8)

Although this perspective can yield interesting results, it disregards the fact that film is a form of art in its own right. Furthermore, films are independent and self-contained works, and their texts exist alongside literary texts. Likewise, the aesthetic evaluation of a movie is not bound to the aesthetics of the literary source. (Willig 2006: 131, 136; Duve & Krüger 2006: 8; Blell & Lütge 2004: 405)

As Stam exemplifies there is an automatic difference between literature and its adaptation due to the transformation process, which is implied by a change of medium. Adaptations are always a shift from the single-track literal medium to the multi-track medium of film, which both possess different means of expression. Filmic adaptations are translations of literary works with the consequence that, like in any linguistic translation, losses and gains are inevitable. In addition, filmic adaptations are also interpretations, “readings” or critiques of their literary source text. They contextualize and modify, and often add topical ideological undertones. In order to achieve this they make use of a range of operations, e.g. selection, amplification, concretization, actualisation, popularisation, accentuation and cultural adaptation. Thus, adaptations are always necessarily different from their literary source and originals of their own. (cf. Stam 2005: 17, 25, 29, 31, 46)

Since fidelity is basically impossible, the judgemental perspective of fidelity discourse should be substituted by an intertextual approach, in which intertextuality describes the effective co-presence of two texts, in this case of literature and film. Therefore, an evaluation of filmic adaptations should be made in terms of a successful or unsuccessful transformation with regard to creativity, “reading” and comment. (cf. Stam 2005: 27, 46)

An intertextual approach renders several activities possible. Correlating the genres invoked by literature and film examines relations between both texts and determines major intertextual elements. It can search for respective cues or work out specific filmic allusions and protocols. (cf. Stam: 2005: 31, 45) A comparative narratology can search for modifications or permutations of the story and try to find reasons for them. Which elements have been added or changed, and which are emphasised or amplified for filmic or for other reasons? What is the guiding principle behind the choices made? (cf. Stam 2005: 34) By comparing the stylistics of the two types of media light can be shed on transferable features, for instance cinematic elements in a novel and novelistic elements a movie. It is also possible to examine existing influences of other arts and media on the literary source or on the adaptation. (cf. Stam 2005: 41) A contrastive content analysis can broach issues of censorship, ideologies and social discourses, as well as consider aesthetic mainstreaming and economic considerations. (Stam 2005: 41ff)

The analytical intertextual approach can also be combined with creative activities. Students can devise ideas to adapt literature to film, for instance by writing exposés, film treatments, shooting scripts or even by drawing storyboards. These in turn can be compared with those which were used for the motion picture. Given the necessary time and equipment, learners may even shoot single scenes, a trailer or a filmlet. (cf. Surkamp 2004: 8)

2.2 The Didactic Value of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner for TEFL Film Education

The preceding chapters gave an overview on the advantages of film use in the TEFL classroom, addressed different approaches and methods, and showed possible benefits and pitfalls of adaptation analysis. The following remarks will illustrate how Ridley Scott’s science-fiction masterpiece fits into TEFL film education and will point out its didactic value. It will suffice to briefly address the specific benefits of this film, since further evidence will be provided when the movie is discussed in more detail.

As mentioned, films for TEFL should feature a high standard in terms of content and film language, and extend and challenge learners’ cinematic experiences. Blade Runner is a movie with powerful set designs and a breathtakingly aesthetic cinematography, which achieve a very detailed and realistic depiction of a future society, as well as convey the intense atmosphere of a dystopian world. It is critically acclaimed for its visual style, which established much of the aesthetics that defines cinematic science-fiction today. (cf. Graf 2005: 205ff; Lacey 2000: 5f, 37; Giesen 1984: 72f; Dretzka 2003; Webb 1996: 45; Philip K. Dick – The Official Site – Blade Runner w.y.).

Blade Runner, as a sci-fi movie, belongs to one of the most popular film genres (cf. Rauscher 2002: 537), which guarantees for a high level of learner motivation. Additionally, it shares the common didactical value of this genre. Science-fiction broaches issues of the relationship between mankind and technology, often echoes social realities, and also reflects as well as comments on contemporary hopes and fears[1]. Furthermore, it often contains subversive political critique or important philosophic and moral topics (cf. Sobchack 1998: 284f, 287 289; Rauscher 2002: 538). Possessing a philosophic core, it motivates viewers to contemplate their own existence and the deeper layers of the human mental condition, and asks them to ponder morals and morality as well as the “crimes of progress”. (cf. Koebner 2003: 11) Contrary to “non-genre” or “soft” science-fiction, which only focuses on entertaining and escapist elements of a possible future, such “genre” or “hard” science-fiction uses futuristic settings to reflect upon the present, to comment on contemporary life and to deal with issues concerning humanity. (cf. Lacey 2000: 8, 63; Sievert: 2000: 19)

Thus, science-fiction can help to dramatise issues from several disciplines of sciences and humanities, e.g. physics, biology, ecology, futurology, sociology, politics, philosophy, theology and so forth. (cf. Nicholls 1995b: 1065). In school it can be integrated into respective subjects to draw learners’ attention to specific topics. Within a TEFL context this also provides the opportunity to use science fiction for forms of bilingual teaching, which are encouraged by German TEFL curricula. (cf. Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium 2003: 25f for Lower Saxony’s curriculum) By virtue of its metaphors, analogies and symbols, which can almost be taken literally, science-fiction is also a fertile ground for (filmic) text analysis and interpretation in language classes. (cf. Nicholls 1995b: 1065; Rottensteiner w.y.)

Blade Runner can be subsumed under the term genre science-fiction, since it addresses a broad range of issues with social and philosophic relevance. They range from the ethics of genetic engineering and questions of humanity, over the relevance of memories for individual identity, to epistemological questions of reality. Its dystopian setting raises the topic of ecological disaster caused by pollution, contains a critique of excessive capitalism and corporatism, and speculates about future social hierarchies and class distinctions. Even though the movie was produced in 1982, it is more topical than ever due to the contemporary progress of genetic engineering and the ongoing processes of globalisation. This topicality helps students to find an access to the movie.

Blade Runner also exhibits a multitude of cinematographic, philosophic, theological and cultural allusions, which are worth being examined. Due to the richness of its open filmic text, it addresses learner’s background knowledge and offers sufficient incentives for active participation and interpretation. (cf. Lacey 2000: 9; Sievert 2000: 59f) Moreover, it is predestined for an interdisciplinary approach in bilingual teaching, for instance in cooperation with political, religious, and philosophical education.

Scott’s movie also appeals to students because it refers, in form of the replicants’ quest for life and answers, to questions of identity, which are always of special interest for juveniles in popular movies. (cf. Roller 2006: 78)

A further advantage of the application of Blade Runner in TEFL is the availability of online resources and the multitude of internet sites which deal with it. They give students the opportunity to do research on the film and to additionally raise their competence to use electronic media and the internet, which is another learning target in the curricula (cf. Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium 2003: 36 for the provision in the curriculum of Lower Saxony). Moreover, they are another important source of authentic target language input.

2.3 Methodological Considerations

The movie has a clear and linear plot (Will 2003: 378), but due to its complexity and the depicted violence (rated FSK 16 in Germany, BBFC 15 in England and R in America) it is only suitable for advanced TEFL learners, preferably A-level students. (Leistungskurs in der gymnasialen Oberstufe in Germany).

In general, all approaches to film education can be applied to the movie, as well as all screening modes. Nevertheless, the following chapters will focus on a rather analytical intertextual method which examines the relations between the movie and the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Thus, interval and sandwich screening are preferred. Anyway, an introductory bloc viewing may also be useful, since the density of information in the film’s future setting is so high, that it is impossible to absorb all information in one viewing. Scott’s visual technique of layering particularly invites repeated viewings (cf. Lacey 2000: 80; Clute 1995: 132; Naumann 1996: 148). A first screening can serve as an introduction to the movie, give a first impression and can emphasise the perception approach (cf. Zerweck 2004: 41)

In order to counter the dominance of literary text over films and to let students acquire an unbiased view on the movie, a reversed modus operandi is proposed, i.e. the film is shown prior to the reading of the novel. (cf. Stam 2005: 14) The fist step introduces the motion picture as an own piece of art and concentrates on the movie as an independent subject matter to solely facilitate film literacy. The second step deals with the novel and investigates intertextual relations. It may also pick up a “reverse fidelity discourse” and provocatively asks questions, such as whether the literacy source can capture the specific pleasures of the film version. Does it add interesting complexity or is it just a weak template whose unnecessary information was rightfully edited out of the movie? (cf. Stam 2005: 14)

Many pre-, while- and post-viewing activities are conceivable in line with the proposals of Surkamp. Nevertheless, this paper will just present a small selection of sample exercises, which reference to prominent topics and interpretations of Blade Runner.

Bearing these methodological considerations in mind, the following chapters will first give an overview on the movie. They will summarise its plot and discuss major topics and common interpretations. Afterwards, the paper will deal with Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in the same way. The final section will subsequently propose sample exercises.

[...]


[1] For instance, did Fritz Lang’s Metropolis play on fears of increased regulations and violent revolutions in the 1920s. Sci-fi movies of the 1950`s in turn mirrored a growing concern about the consequences of scientific development. They expressed fears of a communist threat in the Cold War period, dealt with the dangers of nuclear fallout, as well as picked up issues of identity, loss and alienation. Japanese Godzilla movies on the other hand tried to come to terms with the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sci-fi films of the 1970s and 1980s addressed environmental issues and dealt with machines turning against mankind, which can be seen as a reaction to massive reorganisations in the economic sector. Science fiction from the 1990s on is dominated by the impact of electronic media and virtual realities on society. (cf. Law & Wright 1997: 495f; Rauscher 2002: 538, 540f ; Sobchack 1998: 288)

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Details

Title
'Blade Runner' and Film Education: Didactic Possibilities of Teaching Film Literacy in the TEFL Classroom
College
University of Hannover  (Englisches Seminar / Lehrgebiet Didaktik des Englischen)
Course
Hauptseminar Teaching Film (englische Fachdidaktik)
Grade
1,0
Author
Year
2008
Pages
53
Catalog Number
V115008
ISBN (eBook)
9783640163038
ISBN (Book)
9783640164455
File size
654 KB
Language
English
Notes
A very thoroughly researched paper that comes up with an experienced and creative argumentation. Scolary work on "Blade Runner" is excellently woven with teacherly ideas.
Tags
Blade, Runner, Film, Education, Didactic, Possibilities, Teaching, Literacy, TEFL, Classroom, Hauptseminar, Fachdidaktik)
Quote paper
Dipl.Jurist Marco Sievers (Author), 2008, 'Blade Runner' and Film Education: Didactic Possibilities of Teaching Film Literacy in the TEFL Classroom, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/115008

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