Science, Technology, and Society Movie Night

I'm chilling at the CSPO start of year conference, which I can only describe as fantastic. The quality of the people and ideas here is like nothing I've ever seen. One of the activities was everybody writing down one thing they'd be willing to, and I volunteered to run an STS Movie Night.

A preliminary list:
Koyaanisqatsi-grab hold of your brainstem, because your view of man and nature is about to explode. Literally.
Zardoz-Some people say that this is a movie about life, death, immortality, the technosocial elites, and the nature of an apocalyptic ecological collapse. Other people say this is a movie about guns, penises, and Sean Connery in a red leather diaper. Both are wonderfully right.
eXistenZ-Cronenberg could compose a series all his own, but I like eXistenZ because its a higher budget film, and deals with virtual reality and levels of reality.
The Fly-mad science
Altered State-human subject experimentation
Jurassic Park-Chaos, man! And dinosaurs.
Hackers-Fact-25% of CS majors are a young Angelina Jolie. A look into the wacky computer underground of the early 90s.
The Terminator/Terminator 2-Military robots, technological inevitability, and of course Ahnold.
Idiocracy-A very funny movie about social Darwinism and the future of intelligence.
Gattaca-Genetic engineering, social stigma, transhumanism and equality. Also a damn good film.
Minority Report-Crime and thought. Note that DHS is working on 'multimodal mind-reading sensors' to detect terroristic intent. Can you charge someone for being nervous in an airport.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-Memory and love, who we are when we can cut away parts of our souls.

I've only scratched the surface. Loyal readers, can you suggest more movies?


  1. so, frankly altered states is hard to sit through and you have to know your audience for Zardoz.

    Strange Days is actually quite watchable, maybe lower budget.

    there are other mind*uck movies of course, but they don't involve technology

  2. I mean.. I like 'Brazil' and 'Twelve Monkeys' a lot but these have a surrealist skew that may make them impractical for STS speculation.

  3. heh.. Alphaville ?

  4. I mean, sine you have Zardoz in there basically anything goes

  5. so the trick is to pick sci-fi that is most similar to present near-future.

    mad max, beyond thunderdome, clearly

  6. ... and tank-girl


  7. All of these are great selections. And don't worry about the seriousness of this. Plan is show a movie, and retire to CSPO West (aka Casey Moore's Bar and Oyster House) for discussion.

  8. Moon-Sam Rockwell and a robot that uses emoticons for expression played by Kevin spacey. Can't say anymore in case of spoiler. Very Funny


    Speed Racer-Honestly I don't know why I put this here but if Ironman was engineering porn this was somehow engineering porn on drugs with anime. Who cares if the acting sucks