As part of the Living Writers Friday Night film series, “Arrival“, the American sci-fi drama directed by Denis Villeneuve was screened in the Golden Auditorium of Little Hall on Friday, September 24. Staff, students and guests gathered in the auditorium to follow the story of linguist Louise Banks, played by actor Amy Adams., whose narrative begins when twelve alien spaceships simultaneously arrive in twelve locations around the world and Louise, as a talented linguist and teacher, is recruited in a way unexpected by the US military to communicate with these alien life forms.
Louise is followed as she tries to communicate with the aliens, called “heptapods”, Through a glass wall in the spacecraft that landed in Montana. Working with physicist Ian Donnely, played by Jeremy Renner, viewers watch his process of developing an understanding of heptapod communication to determine the intentions of their visit to Earth. Simultaneously, geopolitical tensions are increasing as the affected nations begin to become increasingly restless, suggesting the possibility of war, both externally against aliens and on the world stage.
Additionally, the film raised some interesting questions about the nature of time, as Louise and Ian begin to realize that the heptapod’s perception of time is radically different from ours.
Year one Samanta Kost explained, “Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when I got there, but loved it. I was intrigued by their manipulation of time and their approach to aliens. I’ve never seen it in a movie before and would love to know more movies like this.
Bank’s exploration of the paradigm of time as nonlinear challenges the perception of viewers’ consciousness and sparks conversations about how moral decisions can change as conceptions of time change. This creates an interesting reflection exercise for the viewer.
In sophomore Natalie Hatton said, “I saw the movie in theaters when it came out, but I completely forgot about it until I got to this screening. This movie is to watch even if you are not much of a science fiction fan. My friend and I spent hours talking about it afterwards – really cool stuff. ”
Freshman Max Gardinier shared a similar sentiment: “I’ve seen ‘Arrival’ a few times and it’s one of my favorite movies. I was super excited to see that they were playing it as part of the movie series! It’s so unique and it’s such a great story, I love the ending and the emphasis on the concepts of time and language, there’s really nothing like it.
“Arrival” was also well received by critics, winning the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, among other accolades. The film was based on “Ted Chiang”Story of your life, Her award-winning science fiction novel from 1998, and the screening was co-sponsored by Living Writers. Upcoming events and screenings are available on the Colgate Film and Media Studies website, including hosting Ted Chiang himself to speak at the Golden Auditorium in Little Hall on Thursday, September 20 at 4:30 p.m.