Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blog #65 - Questions about the Source Code

We talked a lot about the film, Source Code, and how it relates to Plato's Allegory of the Cave.  I don't know if it's a perfect fit, but what is?  I think further research is needed for this topic and if you guys can find it pertaining to the film and Plato, that would be great (don't forget to read the illustrated handout for more details). 

The film opens up some questions about fate that I don't think it really answered or that we really touched upon too much.  When Capt. Stevens kept being pulled out of the SC and back into his "capsule," he saw these glimpses - call them deja vu, precognition, whatever - of himself and Christina at Chicago's Millenium Park and the big chrome bean.  These scenes occurred even before he felt like saving anybody on the train or understood his situation - as if he was headed towards that future "alternate universe" no matter happened.  Could it be that every obstacle that Stevens ran into (or literally ran into him - see below!) kept him moving towards that inexorable future? 

What about the morality of using Capt. Stevens as a lab rat for the Source Code?  It's obvious by the end of the movie that he's in a terrible state of physical trauma, and that only his mind is the most complete and functioning part of him.  At points in the film, it appeared that Dr. Rutledge was "torturing" Stevens by sending him back into the memories of Sean Fentress only to be blown up again and again.  We did mention that Capt. Stevens, as a member of the U.S. military, most likely, had signed away his rights to do with his remains as his parents wished.  However, it is hard to imagine a father wishing this for his son.  And by the end of the film, if it has reset and everything starts anew, Capt. Stevens will continue to be used further in the GWOT (global war on terror). 

Lastly, how do you explain the ending?  Goodwin and Rutledge have no knowledge of the previous day's events (if those events even occurred - but they had to have existed somewhere, b/c Stevens sent her the email - it came from somewhere, sometime, right?).  And at the end of the movie, it looked as if the whole day had been reset, Capt. Stevens was alive and in his previous "state of being," in addition to the bomber being caught and the initial train bombing never having occurred. 

Questions to choose from:
1. How could the filmmakers have changed the film to make it more or less like Plato's cave?  Explain your reasoning. 
2.  What role did fate play in this movie?  Why?  Or, did fate play no role at all and why not? 
3.  Did the military cross the line with the use of Capt. Stevens' body and mind for the Source Code?  Why or why not? 
4.  Is the ending a new "movie reality" (for lack of a better term)?  Why or why not?  Is it possible that Stevens' determination somehow merged the alternate universe with the movie's original reality? 

Pick one of the following questions and answer it as fully as you can.  Stay in the nuances of the question as long as you can.  Your response should be a minimum of 250 words and is due Thursday, December 18 before class begins. 

Online articles to check out if you have time:
"Here I Am: The Identity Philosophy of SC" - http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/opinions/here-i-am-the-identity-philosophy-of-source-code.php
"Who is Sean Fentress?: A (Completely Serious) Exploration of What Happened After the End of Source Code" - http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/opinions/what-happened-after-the-ending-of-source-code.php