PRESENTATIONS/TOPICS

THE HISTORY OF OUR FUTURE

BLACK IMAGES IN SCIENCE-FICTION FILM

The films only Black male character (Paul Winfield) is forced to kill himself by the villain in  STAR TREK:  THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982).
THE HISTORY OF OUR FUTUREBlack images in science-fiction film is a critical analysis of black images in science fiction film from A Trip to the Moon to Star Wars: Episode VII.  The presentation spans the past hundred years in a decade by decade review of SF films and analysis of not only the content of the films themselves but what they tell us historically of what was going on within the culture from which films come from. The focus is largely US science-fiction films with a few notable exceptions. The History of our Future is a comprehensive look at bias in the most successful film genre there is.  
Over and over the black character dies first in SF films and often horribly. Longtime science-fiction fans have come to experience it as a cliche. But this long standing sci-fi film tradition/convention has its roots in SF film and film in general going back over 100 years.

The last Black man on earth (Paul Winfield)  is eaten to death by Killer cockroaches in a scene from DAMNATION ALLEY (1977)

A Black Astronaut time travels to Earth's future where he is so rare that once he is killed, he is stuffed and put in a Museum. PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

OTHER TOPICS/PRESENTATIONS
  1. Breaking into the film industry can be a daunting task, but as the saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” Sargent has been a screenwriter, director, sound operator, storyboard artist, film critic on television, radio & online, an HBO short film judge, Film festival panelist & Moderator, Film Acting teacher, and a host of other positions in the industry.   In this exciting and informative presentation, he outlines a number of potential career paths that open doors to work in the film industry that many students may have never considered.  He gives insight, wisdom, shares his experiences and provides concrete examples of many well known filmmakers, and film professionals, who started at an end of the business that may have seemed unlikely but ultimately led to satisfying and successful careers.
    ANATOMY OF A FILM CAREER
  2. Legendary French filmmaker François Truffaut once said: "To be a film critic helped me a lot because it's not enough to be a cinephile and to watch a lot of movies. The necessity to write about films pushes you to get better, and forces you to make a mental gymnastic. It’s when you have to sum up a screenplay in ten sentences that you realise its weaknesses or its strength."   As part of an elite but growing crowd of film critics-turned- filmmakers that includes Truffaut, Roger Ebert, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Bogdanovich, and Ant-man Director Joe Cornish, Mike Sargent (who actually went from filmmaker to film-critic and back again) gives a compelling presentation on the advantages of learning about film, the film business, and having the opportunity to interview a variety of writers, producers and directors –from Steven Soderberg, Spike Lee, George Lucas, Francis ford Coppola, to Diablo Cody, and Ava Duverny. Sargent reveals that film journalism presents a real-world film schooling unparalleled in any University film program.
    FROM FILM CRITIC TO FILMMAKER