Honors Study Topic Film List


20 Feet from Stardom. 2013
The first documentary to explore backup singers whose job sits at the frontiers of stardom as they support recording and performing artists.

2001: A Space Odyssey. 1968
This film is Stanley Kubrick's classic exploration of a mission to Jupiter that takes an unexpected turn when a computer with artificial intelligence takes over.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 1954
Based on the novel by Jules Verne, a group of seamen work to help the United States government search for a sea monster who has been terrorizing merchant ships.

All The President's Men.1976
Based on the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, this film explores the 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex and its aftermath.

Apollo 13. 1995
This film is Hollywood's take, starring Tom Hanks, on the Apollo 13 space mission. Around the World in 80 Days. 1956 Based on the Jules Verne novel, Phileas Fogg embarks on an around-the-world trip after betting his club members he can make it in 80 days.

Back to the Future. 1985
Doc Brown and Marty McFly take a DeLorean time machine back to the year 1955 in this film that explores the potential impact of time travel.

Basquiat. 2011
The story follows the life of avant-garde artist Basquiat as his art develops and his fame grows in New York in the 1970s and 1980s.

Blackfish. 2013
This documentary explores the world of orcas in captivity and what that means for them as well as the humans around them.

Before Midnight. 2013
Jesse and Celine explore the frontiers of their midlife relationship in the third installment of this trilogy.

Blade Runner. 1982
Deckard, a blade runner, has to track down and terminate 4 replicants who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to earth seeking their maker.

Bloody Sunday. 2002
This film offers a reenactment of the protest march in Derry, Northern Ireland, on January 30, 1972 that turned violent and explores the frontiers of political economy that led to the tragedy.

Blue Gold: World Water Wars. 2009
This award-winning documentary posits that we're moving closer to a world in which water -- a seemingly plentiful natural resource -- could actually incite war.

Blue Jasmine. 2013
Woody Allen directs this exploration of a woman coping with major, unexpected changes in her life and the boundaries between her and her sister.

Born Free. 1966
This film explores the relationship between a lioness cub and the couple who raise and then release her.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind. 1977
Steven Spielberg explores the question of whether there is life on other planets and how desire for and actual encounters with those life forms have an impact on lives on Earth.

Contact. 1997
Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

The Crying Game. 1992.
This film explores the borders between Irish and English cultures and the paradoxes in the stereotypes of those cultures, colonialism and nationalism, oppressor and oppressed, masculine and feminine identities, and the lines between right and wrong.

Dead Poets Society. 1989
This film explores the tensions between wanting to achieve one's own dreams as these dreams compete with societal expectations, especially for high achieving students. The film mixes inspirational moments with truly gut-wrenching decisions made by the students and the faculty members.

ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. 1982
Steven Spielberg's classic explores the frontiers of potential friendship between species from different planets.

Fame. 1980
The now classic movie about students enrolled at New York's High School for the Performing Arts. Competition for attention is a continual focus for the students both within and beyond their school experience.

Gattaca. 1997
A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Her. 2013
This film explores the relationship between a man and his advanced operating system.

Journey to the Center of the Earth. 1959, 2008
These are two film versions of the 1894 Jules Verne novel about explorers who follow a map to the center of the earth.

Lee Daniel's The Butler. 2013
Based on the story of the White House butler who served 8 Presidents at a time when the nation was challenged by events that shaped the frontiers of the 21st Century.

Longitude. 2000
Parallel stories: 18th century Harrison builds the marine chronometer for safe navigation at sea; 20th century Gould is obsessed with restoring it.

Lost at Sea: Search for Longitude. 1998
This documentary focuses on the dramatic recreation of longitude's difficult birth, and the remarkable history-making life of a humble, ingenious country carpenter named John Harrison.

Mad Max. 1979
This is the first in a trilogy of films that looks at life in a post-apocalyptic world.

The Matrix. 1999
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

National Geographic: America Before Columbus. 2009
National Geographic explores the American continents before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Pi. 1998
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Planet of the Apes. 1968
This first in a series of films and television shows based on the 1962 novel explores the fall of humanity and rise of intelligent apes from the perspective of both humans and apes.

Race for the Double Helix. 1987
Watson and Crick race to find the structure of DNA before Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, or Rosalind Franklin can find the key to unlocking the secret.

Raiders of the Lost Ark. 1981
This film is the first of several that follow the explorations of archaeologist Indiana Jones.

Second Skin. 2008
This documentary follows the lives of 7 online gamers (games include World of Warcraft and Everquest II). The film examines both the beneficial and detrimental effects of online gaming on their relationships, careers and lives.

Shaka Zulu. 1986
This 10-part miniseries explores the life of a 19th-Century African king who reclaimed his birthright to build a nation.

Sherlock Holmes. 2009
Based on the novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this film follows the explorations of detective Sherlock Holmes as he uses science and reason to solve crimes.

Siddhartha. 1972
Based on a novel by Herman Hesse, this film explores Siddhartha’s search for a meaningful life.

Species. 1995
A message from outer space contains instructions on how to modify human DNA.

Star Wars. 1977
This is the first film in George Lucas’ 6-part saga that explores borders and boundaries in intergalactic travel.

Strictly Ballroom. 1992
A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner.

The Mission. 1986
This British film follows explorations in South America of a Jesuit missionary.

The Other Conquest (La Otra Conquista). 2007
This film explores the impact of Spanish exploration on the Aztec civilization.

The Terminator. 1984
A human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg is sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor; Kyle Reese is sent to stop it.

War Dance. 2008
The film follows three troubled children attend a school where they can momentarily forget the brutal realities of their lives as they participate in music, song and dance.


30 Years of National Geographic Specials. National Geographic, 1995
Explore the natural world and its frontiers with Jacques Cousteau, Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and other scientists.

Bill Nye, the Science Guy. PBS, 1993
American scientist, Bill Nye, explains science to young people in this 100-episode series.

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. 1997
This series, called the greatest of the science fiction genre by Entertainment Weekly, over 8 seasons explores the intersection of the worlds of humans and vampires in a small town in California.

Dr. Who. BBC, 2005
This television series follows the exploits of a time traveler and his friends.

Homeland. HBO, 2011
Homeland explores the world of counterterrorism and its fraying boundaries as well as the personal explorations of a CIA operations officer working within the system.

How The States Got Their Shape. History Channel, 2011
This series explores the reasons the states in the United States have their current boundaries and borders.

Lost. ABC, 2004
Lost explores the relationship between people stranded on an island following a plane crash and the situations in which they find themselves.

Lost in Space. CBS. 1965
This ultimately comic series looks at the Robinson family, two others, and a robot lost on a planet when their space mission veered off course as a result of a stowaway.

Numb3rs. CBS, 2005 – 2010
In this series, a mathematician and his detective brother solve crimes using mathematics. Game theory and statistical modeling are techniques used to analyze patterns of crime and criminals, including possible terrorist activity.

Inside North Korea.National Geographic, 2006
Disguised as a medical coordinator, National Geographic correspondent Lisa Ling gains access into North Korea and gives viewers a powerful glimpse inside one of the most restrictive countries in the world. Through personal accounts and exclusive footage, Ling exposes the difficulties North Koreans face while living in such an oppressive regime, coping with poverty, hunger and the lack of civil liberties.

Quantum Leap. 1989
Scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in time--"leaping" into the body of a different person in a different time period each week.

Star Trek. 1966
This is the 3-season original of what would become a several series and films about the search for intelligent life in the universe.

The Amazing Race. CBS, 2005
Team race around the world in an effort to win $1,000,000 in this reality television series.