The Aliens in Us and the Aliens Out There: Science Fiction in the Movies
The notion and images of aliens are for the most part an outcome of collective societal occurrences that often consists of personalized accounts of encounters with other beings, and in many ways are like our own dreams which are based on our life experiences. Cinematic portrayals of aliens can tell us much about what is going on in human minds. And it works the other way around as well: just as movies can reflect social distress, they also have the capacity to add to, or exacerbate social distress. Movies are similar to dreams and nightmares in that they employ the language of dreams to powerful effect. Aliens appear in human folklore because they are equipped by us with traits and characteristics we secretly desire such immortality. There are as many types of aliens as there are social dreams. During the Cold War era some of the prevailing social dreams were haunted by the specter of nuclear annihilation, and the idea of alien threat continues to make up the majority of film science fiction productions. Yet aliens are not always treated as malevolent beings that have come to usurp our societies, seize control of the planet, and pilfer our resources: the human/alien crews in Star Trek represent a social dream that society perceives as desirable.
KeywordsWest Nile Virus Outer Space Alien Invasion Comic Book Star Trek
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