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Week 1 - Introductions and THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode: "The Invaders"

Page history last edited by goldenapple 6 years, 5 months ago

1. Let's Get Acquainted exercise: Introductions

2. Watch THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode: "The Invaders"

3. Work in teams to answer the questions below.

 

 

=====1. Let's Get Acquainted Exercise

=====2. Watch The Twilight Zone:  "The  Invaders" (Season 2, episode 15)

https://www.netflix.com/watch/70174055?trackId=14277283&tctx=0%2C14%2C32b43aa2-18b1-43d6-8088-8dadfffec0c7-258888212

 

TEAM 1 -  

TEAM 2 -  

TEAM 3 -  

TEAM 4 -  

 

The Twilight Zone updated 18 April 2016

Page historylast edited by goldenapple 9 months, 1 week ago

 

VIDEO ANALYSIS: TWILIGHT ZONE: "The Invaders" (Season 2, Episode15; Overall episode 51. First aired January 27, 1961. Duration: Approximately 30 minutes)

INSTRUCTIONS

I. WATCH the episode listed above – In class – here are links to the video:

II. ANSWER THE TEAM DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND PREPARE TO DISCUSS YOUR TEAM’S ANSWERS WITH THE CLASS NEXT WEEK 

This assignment requires doing the assigned reading, in addition to watching the video. Your team can divide up the work, but EVERYONE must be prepared to discuss or present in class next week.  I’ll pick presenters at random.

 

 

II.                IN-CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Let’s discuss the video in class, before doing any reading. NOTE If you missed the class, then watch the video, and then answer these question online, in the Twilight Zone assignment.

  1. Why is this episode titled “The Invaders”?
  2. At the BEGINNING of the episode, whom did you support more – the woman or the astronauts? Why?
  3. At the END of the episode, did you change your allegiance?  Why or why not?
  4. At the BEGINNING of the episode, what do we know, and how do we know it….
    1. About the woman? How do we know this?  (Cite clues or supporting evidence.)
    2. About the astronauts? How do we know this? (Cite clues or supporting evidence.)
  5. At the END of the episode:
    1. What more do we know about the woman? How do we know this? (Cite clues or supporting evidence.)
    2. What more do we know about the astronauts? How do we know this? (Cite clues or supporting evidence.)

6.       At the END of the episode:

a.       What words might the woman use to describe the astronauts?

    1. What words might the astronauts use to describe the woman?
  1. Can you think of any real-life situation on Earth- historical or recent – that is similar:
    1. To the woman’s experience in this episode?
    2. To the astronauts’ experience in this episode?
    3. Filmmaking techniques and tricks
    4. What technique(s) or tricks did Rod Serling and the filmmakers use to make the audience feel similar to or identify with the woman?
    5. What technique(s) or tricks did Rod Serling and the filmmakers use to make the audience feel similar to or identify with the astronauts?
    6. What technique(s) or tricks did Rod Serling and the filmmakers use to make the woman and the astronauts seem different from each other?
    7. Do you think the surprise twist at the end was effective at making the viewer pause and reconsider his or her allegiances? 

[NOTE:  creators of longer-form works often use this technique, to manipulate audience members’ associations with characters or groups, but in a more drawn out way, in such shows as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul.)

    1. This show was created during the Cold War. Rod Serling wanted to use the series to make some socially conscious statements, but in an entertaining way, so the TV networks, sponsors, and viewers would support his shows. In your personal opinion -  what point do you think this episode’s surprise ending tries to make?
  1. Think of a group of people who are feared, who are not respected, or who are in conflict or competition with another group. (For example, the scenarios could be a majority group v. minority group, colonists – v. –those colonized, groups at war with each other, groups in competition with each other (e.g., in sports, politics, business, or for valuable resources). The opposing groups often use words, images, actions, gestures, and even rules or laws to give one group an advantage over the other, to dehumanize the other group, and to sway public opinion against the other group.
    1. Can you think of an example of such opposing groups?
    2. In your example, why does one group fear or dislike the other?
    3. Now, consider the words, images, and gestures used by each side to describe and address members of the other side, whether in everyday language, in the media, in history books, and/or in popular culture (advertising, books, comics, movies, music, newspapers,  radio, TV.
    4. To be respected and treated fairly, many groups take pains to manage the languages, images, rules, and behaviors used in association with their group. Can you think of an example of how a group has tried to manage its public image and how others refer to the group?

 

 

III. TEAM ASSIGNMENT – to be discussed and researched within the group, and then presented in class, next week:

Take advantage of working in a team to review the indicated chapters of Moran, Managing Cultural Differences and at least two of the articles listed in the attached Bibliography, and then to prepare answers to the following questions.  One submission of answers per team.  Everyone on the team should be familiar with the answers and be prepared for me to call upon them to present one or more answers to the class, next week..

A – Let’s consider the lens (point of view) of the USA astronauts. Consider specific points from the TV episode, but in addition cite both the textbook and at least two of the assigned articles (listed in the attached bibliography), to explain their "lens". For example: 

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL COMPARISONS- From the very beginning, the astronauts (unlike us viewers), knew they were visiting another planet and they’d find beings from a different planetary race there. Presumably, they’d done some prior research and expected to find some similarities to Earth.  They also expected some differences.
    1. Compare and contrast the physical environment outside the woman’s farmhouse and Earth. 
    2. Compare and contrast the physical environment inside the woman’s farmhouse and Earth. 
  2. DEMOGRAPHIC & LIFESTYLE COMPARISONS –
    1.  Do you think the astronauts first noticed the similarities or the differences between themselves and the woman?  Why?
    2. Discuss the similarities you notice between the woman and the astronauts – consider demographic factors, and factors such as lifestyle and level of technology.
    3. Discuss the differences you notice between the woman and the astronauts – consider demographic factors, and factors such as lifestyle and level of technology.
  3. SCHMITZ’S CULTURAL PROFILE APPROACH: Analyze the astronauts, using Schmitz's cultural profile approach (pp. 19-21 in Moran edition 8, pp. 15-17 in Moran edition 7):
    1. Environment
    2. Time
    3. Action
    4. Communication
    5. Space
    6. Power
    7. Individualism
    8. Competitiveness
    9. Structure
    10. Thinking
  4. ATTRIBUTIONS: (See pp. 54-58 in edition 8; pp. 56-60 in edition 7)
    1. Discuss the attributions the astronauts made for the woman's behavior, when they first encountered her on the roof.(pp. 54-58 in edition 8; pp. 56-60 in edition 7). Explain.
    2. Do you think their treatment of her was justified in the beginning?
    3. How about at the end of the episode?
  5. GOALS & CONFLICT RESOLUTION/NEGOTIATION STYLES:
    1. What was the astronauts' initial goal in the episode?
    2. Did the astronauts' ultimate goal change, by the end of the episode?
    3. Consider the astronaut’s behavior from the conflict management/negotiation styles perspective. Which style or styles describes their behavior over the course of the episode.
      1. Avoiding (p. 87, edition 8)
      2. Compromising (p. 88, edition 8)
      3. Obliging (p. 88, edition 8)
      4. Integrating (p. 88, edition 8)
      5. Dominating (p. 88, edition 8)

 

B – Let’s consider the lens (point of view) of the woman. Consider specific points from the TV episode, but in addition cite both the textbook and at least two of the assigned articles (listed in the attached bibliography), to explain their "lens". For example: 

  1. PREPARATION- The woman didn’t expect visitors, and she knew nothing about them. Do you think she would have reacted differently if she had had prior warning and more information?  Explain.
  2. DEMOGRAPHIC & LIFESTYLE COMPARISONS –
    1. Describe the woman’s first reaction to the unexpected noise on her roof?
    2. Describe the range of the woman’s reactions, during her first trip to the roof, when the astronauts first arrived.
  3.  SCHMITZ’S CULTURAL PROFILE APPROACH: Analyze the woman, using Schmitz's cultural profile approach (pp. 19-21 in Moran edition 8, pp. 15-17 in Moran edition 7):
    1. Environment
    2. Time
    3. Action
    4. Communication
    5. Space
    6. Power
    7. Individualism
    8. Competitiveness
    9. Structure
    10. Thinking
  4. ATTRIBUTIONS: (See pp. 54-58 in edition 8; pp. 56-60 in edition 7)
    1. Discuss the attributions the woman made about the spaceship, at first. (pp. 54-58 in edition 8; pp. 56-60 in edition 7)
    2. Discuss the attributions the woman made about the astronauts after they zapped her, on the roof.
    3. How did the change in the woman’s attributions affect the way she approached the spaceship in the beginning of the episode versus the way she approached the spaceship at the end of the episode.  Do you think her change in approach was justified? Explain.
  5. GOALS & CONFLICT RESOLUTION/NEGOTIATION STYLES:
    1. What was the woman’s initial goal by the end of the episode?
    2. What was the woman’s ultimate goal by the end of the episode?
    3. Consider the woman’s behavior from the conflict management/negotiation styles perspective. Which style or styles describes her behavior over the course of the episode.
      1. Avoiding (p. 87, edition 8)
      2. Compromising (p. 88, edition 8)
      3. Obliging (p. 88, edition 8)
      4. Integrating (p. 88, edition 8)
      5. Dominating (p. 88, edition 8)

 

C – Communication Styles. Cite the textbook and specific points from the TV episode to answer these questions. 

CBS News lists “The Invaders” as one of “The 10 Greatest Twilight Zone Episodes”. Here’s what they say about Agnes Moorehead, who played the woman:

In addition to her work with Orson Welles' Mercury Theater, Agnes Moorhead gained fame for her radio performance in "Sorry, Wrong Number" - still vivid, simply due to her tremulous, pleading voice. Conversely, her TV performance in this scary tale of a solitary farm woman who encounters strange, miniature beings from outer space was purely visual - she utters not a word, and doesn't have to,

Note the woman’s body language when:

  • ·         The episode begins, and she is making her meal.
  • ·         She first hears the noise of the approaching and then the spacecraft landing.
  • ·         She first sees the spacecraft.
  • ·         The astronauts zap her, on the roof.
  • ·         When looking for the astronauts downstairs, inside her home.
  • ·         When the astronauts injure her in her home.
  • ·         When she kills the first astronaut and then smashes the spaceship.
  1. The woman never speaks in this episode, but she listens a lot.  What type(s) of listening does she engage in? (See the six listening styles on pp. 53-54 of edition 8, ??? in edition 7).
  2. Do you think the woman's communication style is low context or high context? (pp. 48-53 in edition 8; pp. 49-56 in edition 7)
  3. Do you think the astronauts' communication with each other and with Space Command Control at NASA is low context or high context? Explain. (pp. 48-53 in edition 8; pp. 49-56 in edition 7)
  4. Do you think the astronauts’ communication with the woman is low context or high context?  Explain.

 

D-Consider the Possibilities:

  1. How might the events in this episode have evolved differently, if:
    1. The noise of the astronauts ‘ ship had not hurt the woman’s ears.
    2. The astronauts had not landed on the woman’s property, but instead somewhere more neutral.
    3. The astronauts had not attacked the woman? 
    4. The woman’s response had not invited further attack?
    5. The woman had been the same size as the astronauts? Explain your answers based on concepts from the textbook.
  2. Pick a real-life event, where one group arrived in another group’s domain, and discuss how worked out similarly to this episode.
  3. Pick a real-life event that COULD have worked out similarly to “The Invaders” episode, but did not because one or more of the involved parties handled it differently.

 

E-Let’s Consider the lenses (points of view) of Rod Serling and of Jeffrey Sachs:

  1. Based on whatever articles you chose from the bibliography, your knowledge of the Cold War, and “The Invaders” episode, do you think “The Invaders” episode reflects the point made by Jeffrey Sachs (in article 1) about the Americans during the Cold War: “The U.S. obsessively sees every problem through the lens of terror….”?  
  2. How about now, post-9/11?
  3. Given what you’ve read about Rod Serling's objectives, do you think “The Invaders” episode successfully expressed his point of view?

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

You read and cite at least two of the following articles, in addition to the indicated sections of the Moran textbook. These articles discuss Rod Serling and the socio-political climate at the time “The Invaders” episode was made:

  1. Jeffrey Sachs. "The World Must Not Let America Set Its Agenda".  Financial Times, October 15, 2003, p. 13. [ Online ][ Hardcopy in PBWORKS].
  2. Read the "Description" section of: Television Studies_ THE TWILIGHT ZONE an - Dana Polan.pdf  [ONLINE]
  3. The Twilight Zone and the Power of Ideas - Brant Short.pdf [ONLINE]
  4. Twilight Zone (A spotlight on American S - Todd Frye.pdf [ONLINE]
  5. "Thirty Minute Reality Check: How The Twilight Zone Reflected American Society in the 1950s." © 2004, Meredith Brenner - From HONR 269J: The Beat Begins: America in the 1950s - www_plosin_com_beatbegins_projects_brenner.pdf [ONLINE: http://www.plosin.com/beatbegins/projects/brenner.html] *

 (use this link: http://www.plosin.com/beatbegins/projects/brenner.html)(this second link is dead: Http://universityhonors.umd.edu/HONR269J/projects/brenner.html)] 

 

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