Artificial Life and Uncanny Animation in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

The next meeting of the Film & TV Reading Group will take place at 6:00 pm (s.t.) on January 18, 2012 (in room 609 of the Conti-Hochhaus). Thomas Habedank will be moderating the session, for which he has chosen a very interesting article by Livia Monnet entitled “A-Life and the Uncanny in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” (from Science Fiction Studies 31.1 (2004), 97-121).

While focusing on the 2001 film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (see imdb for more info), in certain respects the paper’s topic picks up on a facet of our discussion of Romero’s zombie films–the question of the uncanny. The paper links this question to a certain historical moment and the media transition from analog to digital forms, to questions of adaptations between film and videogames, and to broader questions of “animation” as both a specific form of film and a basic impulse of film in general.

No prior familiarity with the Final Fantasy franchise or the film is required in order to participate. We will watch some relevant clips to facilitate discussion, and the topic should be conducive to discussion along the lines of a wide variety of interests in moving-picture media.

As always, new participants are more than welcome to join us. For more information about the Film & TV Reading Group, feel free to contact me by e-mail (see the “Contact” page above for the address).


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