Phillip’s Reading Response #3: Sci-fi Film Festival

Science fiction is a genre of literature and science fiction that discusses many of the concepts that people could only dream about. They also dive into current technology and the connections between society and science. For the Sci-fi film festival, I looked at the documentary category and compared it to science fiction I’ve read or watched in the past, and differs because this genre of science fiction goes into real-life situations that have similar qualities to a science fiction except that it is based on real events.  The festival had 5 films in the documentary category and each one was very different, but all hovered off the broad science fiction topics. There was one film that was in German with no English subtitles, so it was very difficult to understand.

The first film is called My Brain is Bigger: The Rise and Fall of Elektro the smoking robot. This film was created in Canada and runs for 10 minutes. The film covers the life of a robot created by the appliance brand Westinghouse. He was created as an advertising/marketing tactic for Westinghouse and after word got out, the fame of Elektro skyrocketed. From 1939 till the late ’70s, Elektro was in movies, tv ads, and appeared at malls across the country. He was well known because he was a robot that could walk, talk, and most famously smoke cigarettes. This documentary discusses the life of a robot, which in 1939 seemed nearly impossible to create. It was truly interesting to see how people viewed technology over the decades.

The second film was very different in that it was about a boy and girl who were raised in captivity and only trained by animated videos on a screen. The film was created in Mexico and was known as CapicĂşa and while only 11 minutes, the film shows how humans can be manipulated from birth to think a certain way. The boy and girl in separate rooms were taught to eat their food with their mouths and to sleep on the bed they were given. Halfway through the film, they put them in the same room at age 7 and they offer one plate of food. The girl immediately hisses and scares the boy and eats the food for herself. After plates and plates of food coming out, it seems like the boy is starting to becoming very very hungry. She then realizes this and shares the food with him. The film ends there, but I think it was a representation of what humans are programmed as well as what humans are able to learn on their own.

The German film was extremely hard to understand because it was in German and there were no English subtitles. The gist of the film is that a woman is lonely and she turns to an AI to help her find love and it just leads to becoming at odds with the AI. This story dives into the powers and dangers of AI and how computer intelligence could be super beneficial, but also super dangerous.

The fourth film named Visitors is an American film that was a documentary about the Americans that drove to Rachel, Nevada to “storm area 51.” This was a Facebook prank that leads to a lot of people driving out to the middle of the desert in the hopes they would find Aliens. The film showed clips of the small town being packed with RV’s and trailers. Aliens being one of the largest topics of science fiction was truly brought into question when this Facebook event was created because a lot of people true believers in aliens, and would go to the ends of the earth to meet them. This film was really interesting because it showed the progression of people coming all the way to people slowly starting to leave when nothing happened.

The final film of the category was Wide-Eyed, which was a very interesting film in that it was short and took a very dark turn quickly. It was called Wide Eyed and it takes place in an apartment where this girl wakes up at someone’s apartment from a one night stand. She makes coffee tries to yell at someone in the bathroom. She then turns on the tv and sees that she’s been missing and people were looking for her. She then realized she was kidnapped. Her fear and adrenaline rise, but then someone slips a death card under the door and she goes into the bathroom and it is hard to tell the end result, but it seems like she is murdered. I enjoyed this film because I went in with this simple mindset, and was taken aback when the story took a super dark turn. Overall the documentary category was much more interesting then I expected.

Phillip’s Reading Response #2 Metropolis

Living in 2020 and watching a silent film definitely is a different way to experience film. When the film first started, it talked about how the film was lost and then eventually some were recovered and eventually people were able to come together to bring it to the screens of many. Considering the film was made about 100 years ago, it really is impressive the ideas and concepts that were loaded into this film. Fritz Lang directed this film that really dives into a two-sided society that eventually clashes in a large spectacular. It seemed that the above-ground city was where the rich and elite lived and enjoyed the luxuries of advanced trains and automobiles, while on the flip side the workers of the society lived deep beneath the city in a much less desirable home.

Throughout the film, you meet many characters from both societies and you learn how people react when they learn how the other side lives. Eventually, the story comes to a climax when the rich leaders want to infiltrate the workers and convince them to riot and go crazy so the above grounders have a reason to use force. This story tackles many human ethics and ideas and in the early 1900s, this was a big step for the film industry. Many stories are meant to emulate the environment around them and I feel this film may have been comparable to the working class to the elite of the world that existed in the early 1900s. I feel that this film was very well done, but it truly was more difficult to understand the plot when there was nearly any dialogue.

Class Notes 9/3/20

Notes 9/3/20


  • Get on an open lab if you haven’t done so already.
  • Show up a few minutes before class starts.
  • Have an open lab open during class
  • Blog
  • Make your own post


  • Not your own post
  • Reply to something else

Next Week:

Tuesday 9/8/20

  • Read the Machine Stops by E.M. Foster, 1909
  • Annotate
    • Notes
    • Highlight
    • Bullets
    • Characters, Setting, Plot
  • Read Blogging Guidelines
    • 25% of the grade is blogging
  • Student Survey (Via Google Forms)
  • Sign up for office hours


Thursday 9/10/20

  • Continued discussion of The Machine Stops
  • People’s Choice #1


Zoom Protocols

  • Get to class before 11:30
  • Camera/profile photo on


American Progress

  • Contrasts many things
  • 1872 painting
  • “Competing visions of progress”
  • Power, Knowledge, Light, Technology


Space Exploration

  • Discovering new places



  • Earth
  • Terraforming
    • Giving a planet or space earthlike conditions


  • Make use of space for own purposes
  • America, Africa, South America


A trip to the moon

  • Timestamps!


Refer back to science fiction framework handout

  • “Dig Deeper”




Dystopian Novels

  • Brave New World (1932)
  • 1984 (1949)
  • Russian text (1921)


Discussion: A Trip to the Moon

  • So Old!
  • The basic idea of how to get to the moon
    • Shot out of a cannon
  • Fell off the moon back to earth
  • Moon had a face
    • The setting was a character



  • Literary device



  • Giving human qualities


“Imagining space through the lens of people”





  • Referencing old texts
    • Jules Verne
    • G. Wells


Introduction Phillip Persky

Hi, my name is Phillip Persky. I am a transfer student studying hospitality management. I have had a long road in college. I started at University at Buffalo, but I transferred back home to pursue this degree. I am not sure what led me to this degree, but I see myself in a management position as my career. I hope to one day work in other countries and get to experience different cultures.


In terms of interests, I am a huge fan of photography and traveling, which usually go hand in hand. I love to hike and see new trails all over the state of New York. One of my greatest desires is to own my own business and be able to travel whenever I want. I currently work as a delivery driver for an Italian restaurant. I was mostly worked this summer, but I did make a small trip to Boston and enjoyed the harbor.


As a Writer, I feel that in terms of strengths, I am very creative and can create very good descriptions. One of my biggest weaknesses with writing is Grammar, which has always been an issue because it wasn’t taught and reinforced in middle and high school. I enjoy writing stories, but I also enjoy writing non-fiction because it’s nice to write when you have facts to write from. I dislike writing about stuff I do not enjoy and find fun. I am a strong reader and thinker and I strive to read and think more. I really enjoy books about understanding how people learn and process information. I only have used zoom, but I am pretty good with technology. My favorite genre is probably science fiction, but I do prefer it on the big screen over books. My favorite book ever is written is the Da Vinci Code. I am a huge Star Trek, Star Wars, and any type of supernatural type stories. Charmed (The Original) was a great work of science fiction and was cool to integrate with modern society. Well, I learned from Star Trek and Back to the Future that the concepts they mention in the show or movie are just years from being actually created. I feel that science fiction gives me inspiration about what could be. I expect to find this course very interesting because I love science fiction and the concepts of it.