I need a monster.
Not right away, but soon. Sometime this fall I will need to solidify my selections for the Special Topics in Film class I'm teaching next spring, and I don't know which monster to include.
It's an upper-level class focusing on portrayal of animals in film and I'd like to call it something like Romancing the Beast except I don't want to suggest the presence of Disney princesses. The class will focus on the varying roles animals play in films and what they suggests about culture and values and all that fun stuff. Here's my list of featured films so far:
Bringing up Baby: animals as catalysts for human romance
Whale Rider: animals as mythic carriers of communal spiritual values
Grizzly Man: animals as carnivores resisting human community
The thought of juxtaposing these three films fills me with inordinate glee, but I'm missing some important points on the human/animal relationship continuum. I need a hunt film, something with a Moby Dick vibe but not necessarily Moby Dick. I'm tempted to use Adaptation just because the hunt for a rare orchid plays so delightfully with the mythic hunt motif, but the only memorable animal is that alligator (who is, let's face it, a terrific alligator). So I'm still on the hunt (ha!) for a hunt film.
And then I need a monster--or an animal portrayed as a monster. I could go back to the original King Kong and look at the displacement of human monstrousness onto a mutant animal, or I could go the sci-fi succubus route with something like Alien, although I'd prefer films that students don't already know by heart. Or I could do something completely different. Monster films aren't my forte so I'm all at sea with the white whale on my tail--or perhaps I'm up the creek without a paddle and an alligator lurking just around the bend.
Either way, I need a lifeline! So drop a monster into the comment box and I'll do my best to keep him out of trouble.