Diversity of Life Forms in Science-Fiction
Programming proposed by
Roland Lehoucq, Perig Pitrou & J.-Sébastien Steyer
in the framework of the Paris Sciences et Lettres project:
ORIGINS AND CONDITIONS OF APPEARANCE OF LIFE
NOVEMBER 2017 - JUNE 2018
Cinéma Le Grand Action - 5, rue des Écoles, Paris 5e
IS THERE EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE? The question remains, as spatial and temporal distances make it difficult to explore the growing number of exoplanets discovered in our neighborhood. While the natural sciences - particularly in the field of exobiology - must be patient when trying to determine the origin and conditions of appearance of life, science fiction, which offers the possibility of freeing itself from certain material and scientific constraints, relentlessly imagines the extreme diversity of forms that extraterrestrial life could take. Innumerable films thus depict the discovery of other worlds by humans exploring space, and even describe non-human societies governed by laws - natural and social - that are radically different from ours.
However, it is not always necessary to travel through space to meet extraterrestrials, as shown in other films that consider their presence on our planet. Arriving alone or in groups, with motivations - peaceful or frankly aggressive - sometimes difficult to identify, coming to settle down or, on the contrary, to leave, the appearance of extraterrestrials on Earth raises many questions. What are their biological characteristics and the state of their technological development? Do they represent a threat or, on the contrary, do they come to deliver useful messages for the progress and survival of humanity? How can we learn to communicate and coexist with them and, if need be, how to defend ourselves against the dangers they represent? These are all questions that underline the fact that, beyond the representation of new living forms, science fiction cinema invites us to reflect on the diversity of the interactions that humans establish with beings that seem, at first glance, so dissimilar.
Before exploring - next year - the representation of extraterrestrials on other planets, this cycle of 8 film-debates invites us to reflect, in the company of researchers in the physical sciences, natural sciences and human and social sciences, on the diversity of forms that extraterrestrial life on Earth takes in our imagination.