Next week’s film roundtable selection is...


1. Discuss Mac (alien) as: father figure, universal sibling, messiah/demon, absent lover (from whom?), manifestation of fear, sentient scrotum.

2. Mac and Me contains egregious examples of product placement. (Just look at the title. You want fries with that?) Name other movies where product placement distracts the viewer (cf. Leonard Part 6). Can we view the featured products as symbols, a la Bergman, or as subtextual parallels, or as an extrapolated disentelestochastruction of fast commercialism?

3. The plot of Mac and Me, released in 1988, involves a lonely boy who is befriended by a short, big-eyed alien, who then befriends the boy’s family, and the humans have to protect the alien from the “bad government types” and find a way to get said alien “home.” Discuss the story’s originality.

4. At one point, the “bad government agents” are chasing Mac and are distracted by an impromptu song and dance number at a McDonald’s. Discuss the viability of extended dance routines (particularly as done by 20-30 youths) as a way of derailing pursuit, i.e., would such tactics have worked in other films? TV cop shows? Does Ronald McDonald need to be involved?

5. Apply the ‘versatility test’ to Mac and see which five other movies he could fit into. (Pod People disallowed.) How specialized is this character? Could he break his established personal parameters in the text without damaging the story? (Re: upper limit to wacky facial expressions?)

6. Discuss main human character as hero/loser/hallucinator. Would we want to follow him without Mac?

7. Archetypes. Locate the Shaman, Apprentice, Muller, Herder, Countess, Exile, Reluctant Savior, Village Idiot, Dupe, Seeker, and any others.

8. Cinematography. What gives?

9. At least it’s not as awful as those CG-laden Star Wars prequels. Discuss.

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