film course

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Movies About the (Coming) End of the World – Train to Busan

We can’t discuss movies about the end of the world without including the Zombie Apocalypse–the way so many movies indicate the end of life as we know it. The Zombie Apocalypse subgenre is almost always mingled with the thriller and the family melodrama. The thriller aspect provides the excitement, suspense and action, while the melodrama provides the moral, ethical and social justice messages that determine our humanity–our difference from zombies.

In the gigantic South Korean hit film Train to Busan, the principal characters are too busy trying to protect their loved ones to think much about the end of the world. But it’s the way they go about it that decides who will survive and who may save the world. I think Train to Busan is remarkable because it’s the only zombie movie that has made me cry! After you dry your eyes, consider how zombies are different from pod people (from Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and how their differences/similarities affect the impending end of the world. You might also consider how zombies in one film are different from zombies in another.

Watch Train to Busan (South Korea: Yeon Sang-ho, 2016; Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube$)

A) Ask 3 discussion questions of your own regarding the film. The questions can be about specific techniques used in specific scenes, the setting the characters, the plotline, unexpected outcomes, the ending.

B) Answer 3 discussion questions posed by other students.

C) Respond to at least one other student’s post with polite agreement or disagreement, giving evidence for your point of view. Answering another student’s question doesn’t count for this part.

D) Read: Buchanan article, https://www.filmosophy.co.uk/train_to_busan_social_commentary.html (Links to an external site.)

Bring up an interesting issue from this writing that would start a discussion.

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