Cannot Understand

        I would have to say that without a doubt the film that was the least valuable to me in the context of the history of cinema would be Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This science fiction film, directed in 1956 by Don Siegel, was not only pretty darn boring, but it was also completely unnecessary.

        I could understand other selections that were made for viewing in this class like Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffiths' racist masterpiece. That film is incredibly historically significant due to its epic scale and editing and many other aspects that revolutionized the silent film era of the cinema. I could understand the inclusion of The Battleship Potemkin due to its significance as one of the first films to come out of the Russian school of montage. I could understand The Gold Rush and Duck Soup because of their contribution to the comedic development of film and the countless references to Chaplin and the Marx Brothers that appear in almost every cartoon we see today. I could understand the inclusion of Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles in 1941, which is widely considered the greatest movie that has ever been made. I can even understand the inclusion on the curriculum of La Belle et la Bête, which is essentially the same thing as the T.V. show and the actual Disney animated movie because of the make-up advances that were made with the Beast's costume and make-up. I can even understand the inclusion of Frederico Fellini's 1963 8 , which is one of the weirdest movies that I have ever seen in my life because of its surreal images and references to fantasy, dreams, and reality.

        But what I cannot seem to figure out is why we watched Invasion. It is a low grade science fiction film that as far as I can tell has no bearing on the history of cinema. Many movies of their kind were being made in Hollywood before and during the time Invasion came out. I cannot understand the significance of the film, and I cannot seem to understand why we watched it. I would have rather preferred to watch some of the other films from that time--preferably one that did not have such a crappy ending.

Ryan Williams

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