Institute for Liberal Arts News
Tokyo Tech's Movie Seminar, supported by the Student Support Center's Student Success Support Section, is back after a two-year break. On November 17, participants gathered at the Workshop Space in Taki Plaza to watch and discuss Contagion, a 2011 thriller directed by Steven Sodenburgh. This was the fifth student-led evening seminar sponsored by the Student Success Support Section.
Joining the students before and after the screening of the film was Associate Professor Yuto Koizumi from the Institute for Liberal Arts. Koizumi offered his commentary on the movie and initiated discussion between the student participants, allowing them to enjoy the Hollywood blockbuster in a different way. Koizumi, who also joined the screening of the film Batman Returns during the third evening seminar, specializes in teaching English using the medium of film.
As its title suggests, Contagion is about the spread of a new virus and the chaos the results in society. In addition to introducing viewers to timely terms such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the film also includes relevant questions that we may be asking ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- How many times have you touched a public object since you left home today?
- How many times have you touched your own face since you left home today?
By answering these questions during the seminar, the participants were able to experience the film in a new light while considering their own behavior in the face of a contagious virus.
After the screening, Koizumi explained that the film was based on thorough research which aimed to offer a realistic view of a pandemic while removing typical movie clichés. He then shifted the discussion to director Soderbergh, who is so particular about his camera work that he even works as a camera operator himself. In Contagion, he utilizes freeze frames to express the rapid spread of the virus, Koizumi commented.
Due to time constraints, organizers were not able to host a question-and-answer session within the official schedule, but some participants showed great interest in gathering with the lecturer afterwards to ask questions and continue the discussion.
Tokyo Tech's peer life coaches will continue to hold film and other evening seminars organized by students for students.
Student Success Support Section, Student Support
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