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Alien Movies And The Science Fiction Genre Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 2369 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The evolution in the films would be the current status of work politics that are always played up in movies. The basic premise of the film does not change but to make it fit the modern day perspective it changes the premise. What forces influenced or guided this change would be the current times we are living in. The film Independence Day from the 1990s allows for a simpler time to seen and how the world and ideas have changed so much since this time. Each story in the films are good versus evil where good must try to triumph evil. The audience enjoys these types of films because they are feel good stories where good wins most of the time. Each film has various layers of the story to discover as the story line progresses. There is always more of the story to be discovered to shock and awe the audience. There is evidence of significant variation from one film to the next because time never stands still and the world is always changing and growing into a new dimension of thinking. People change and with that come new ideas and new problems that must be dealt with. The extent this variation indicates an evolution of style, structure or content in the genre is that looking back at the much older movies the times where more simple. The people were much more respectful and the problems much more straightforward. People believed in getting along with their neighbour and being friendly to everyone. Movies are very relevant for the time they are made as they use current ideas and events in their making. Some movies go further than others to produce surprise and awe in the audience and these are the ones that inspire other movies.

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“It is this final resemblance to genre films and to art films that must make us stop and consider the possibility that, as does art film, the cult movie has certain characteristics that set it apart as a genre onto itself. The seriousness of the art film stands in contrast to the frequent tastelessness of the cult film. Both are film and cult movie manage to avoid the usual genre conventions, but for different reasons. The audiences are small, but the former is so out of a sense of elitism, while the latter is out of a sense of conspiration. Both audiences have achieved a level of nonconformity with the genre mainstream, albeit through two very different routes.” (University)

Many films are elevated to cult status when they are evolutionary change to way film production are completed. It may be because these cult movies are strange and different but they are really just opening up people eyes to a new art form. Many science fiction movies represent alien invasions. Alien invasions have always had underlying tones of the political standings in our current time. Politics and fears have easily been mixed into science fiction film. This is because any fantasy can be played out for the world to see. Sometimes goods win over evil but not always. Our major current issue is terrorist invading and destroying people and property, this is because of the modern day attacks that occurred on 9/11. The next major issue is global warming and the negative effects being caused to our planet.

Humankind has always had a continued idea of war solving the current issues of the time. This may not be accurate but it has been the way of dealing with issues. It only makes sense that one day we could be invaded by extraterrestrials entity that looks to overtake our way of life. We have had horrendous suffering such as throughout the blockade of London during World War II or the Holocaust. Like all wars, some are lost and some are won. The defeated leave and return from where they came from. The victorious celebrate and cheer their apparent success. The wars that are lost are the ones doomed from the start where the people have no chance and they know there foe is going to defeat and it is only a matter of time.

We are destroying ourselves for the sake of oil and money. Science fiction can easily delve into these issues and mask them as something more sinister as they can be much more controversial. How we treat each other is usually a huge themed played out in alien invasion movies. For this essay, I will be focusing on just three of the more well known films. The three films from the science fiction genre I chose are The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), War of the Worlds (2005) and Independence Day (1996). These movies all represent our political ideals and the fears we all have inside us. This is brought out by the alien invasion movies that represent these present fears. The alien invasion scenarios that involved nuclear war was a popular apocalyptic scenario from that became reflected in the 1950s the fears of Communist infiltration. This idea continued for the duration of and up until the breakdown of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

The Cold War had generated fears of a nuclear devastation at which point terrorism took the new form of fear. from Communism as the primary covert threat in the early 2000s. The undercover aliens posturing as human in movies like They Live (1988) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) have symbolized this. In these films, the horror draw closer not from the explosion itself but rather from the post-explosion events or from mutated creatures produced from the radiation or of the desperate survivors in such movies as Panic in the Year Zero! (1962). There are many examples of these types of movies throughout movie history such as: Invaders from Mars (1953), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), The Brain Eaters (1958), Battle in Outer Space (1959), The Day of the Triffids (1962), Beware! The Blob (1972), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Brother from Another Planet (1984), Lifeforce (1985), Cocoon (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986), Critters (1986) Maximum Overdrive (1986), Flight of the Navigator (1986), They Live (1988), The Hidden II (1993), Body Snatchers (1993), U.F.O.(1993), The Puppet Masters (1994), The X Files (1998), The Faculty (1998), Progeny (1999), Signs (2002), Returner (2002), Alien Abduction (2005), Lifted (2007), The Invasion (2007) Bedtime Stories (2008) and the Mutant Chronicles (2009). The epic and ambitious science fiction blockbuster is gradually but unquestionably becoming a vanishing variety of cinematic entertainment. In view of the fact, that the time of cold war suspicions and fear the preliminary overindulge of computer-generated imagery or CGI technologies are now mainstream. In the 1990s, the genre had seen much more enthusiasm either from its core enthusiasts or from individuals wanting something incredible but completely different.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). It is a science fiction genre film with underlying tones of the thriller and drama genres. This film is based upon a movie from the genre’s pinnacle from director Scott Derrickson’s. This version compels with the same sense of awe and wonder, relevancy and conviction to our present social environment. Inundate with a developed coherent plot theme and great characterizations. The movie experience is significant in its captivating moments but also in its implementation. The special effects are impressive and very convincing. The narrative is fascinating during its thick layers of apprehension and threatening atmosphere. The overall substance of the movies capability to beyond doubt draw the viewer in and shock them is strong.

Robert Wise’s classic 1951 version had a clear and strong underlying message to its viewers about the nuclear arms race. The Soviet Union was the evil threat during the cold war and that theme was popular in the movies of that time of the original making of the movie. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2010) is a present day classic remake. This is because of its message is one that is easily changed to apply to modern day. Scott Derrickson’s version of The Day the Earth Stood Still is about the new threat of global warming. Is has a spectacular means of touching modern audiences with the truth. The main idea that all of humankind is the ones behind the devastating and essential problem facing the earth. This is since we are destroying the globe and essentially mother earth through pollution, global warming, strip mining and various other means. The immense concerns that the movie deals with has been updated from the previous concerns of the nuclear arms race to modern day problem of global warming. The destruction of the human race is initiated with a few lines of explanation toward the current epidemic situation. The idea it could really be another country that is going to rage war instead of a foreign unknown entity can easily be believed since the state of the world is in such disarray.

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War of the Worlds (2005) is a science fiction genre film with underlying tones of the action, adventure and drama genres. War of the Worlds was directed by Steven Spielberg. This movie is about a story in which extraterrestrials visit Earth. The idea that they have been waiting for a long time to strike and now the earth is ripe for the picking. It cannot be coincidence, which from the first appearance of the extraterrestrials arriving with eerie lights flashing amid lowering clouds. The extraterrestrials visit with intentions that are pure malevolent. The war is in fact instigated from the commencement. Some viewers apparently were not expecting the core idea of a man and his child trying to just survive and escape the carnage. This movie is not on the level of humans versus aliens not at all about combat that those most alien movies tend to be. It a story about how the everyday people caught in the unexpected situation would handle it. These creatures are in all probability Martians from Mars, as in the original H. G. Wells’s novel.

The extraterrestrials are not all interested in be friendly nor is there any vagueness about their crucial mission. It is very clear they are here to remove us off the face of our planet, plain and simple. A point that is understood before the movie has gone into the story in depth. The frightening tripods that walk deploying destruction along the way are remorselessly efficient. The movie is really good at pointing out the desolation and desperation that these people must be feeling. This movie uses imagery reminiscent of the siege of London during World War II, the terrible events of the Holocaust and destruction and loss of so many during the 9/11 events. The atmosphere is a reflection of how seriously the film intends the audience to understand the screen chaos and mayhem. The ambiance is profoundly chilling with menace and the portrayal of the general population numb with shock amid the devastation is terrifyingly convincing. The mood is sinister and there is not much fighting back on the aliens, as the outmatched Earthlings do not seem to have a chance. Even the apparent protagonist lead character realizes the immense enormity of what is happening. This is a true depiction of how people would behave given that their city or town was invade and attacked. People are not ready to fight against a large foe and would be unprepared as what to do.

Independence Day (1996) is a science fiction genre film with underlying tones of the action and adventure genres. This movie is taking the 1950’s invasion narratives and re-making them for 1990’s audiences. This film depicts the fact that it does possess a joyful naivety in the face of world politics. The year was 1996 with the Cold War over and 9/11 many years away. The entire world uniting against a common enemy devoid of being tied down with insignificant arguments and personal agendas still seemed plausible. Even the rifle carrying Arabs that momentarily appear on the in the film are more than happy to rally behind the Americans who saved the world in celebration of everyone’s freedom. Independence Day is an absolute explosion of visual flare and awesome heroism. The plot is straightforward as the aliens invade and then the fights ensue until victory is achieved. It is quite the spectacle to watch as the movie unfolds. The spectacle of that enormous blue laser light destroying lower Manhattan in 1996 would have made mouth open in shock. It is highly unlikely to do the same to todays over stimulated audiences; it is still an incredible visual delight. The extraterrestrials are actually here to strip mine our planet of all its natural resources. This is the very idea about how we as humans are always invading each other’s countries to pilfer their resources. We lay claim to territory and resources that we have no rights to take for our own. We are in the Middle East fighting a war for the resources that we want to acquire from the rich in oil Middle East. The American President declares July 4 will no longer be just an American celebration, but a world celebration. This is a prime example of American ambition to take over the globe in every way they can. They want to be the largest and greatest super power. This may have held the possibility back in the 1990s long before 9/11 and the financial devastation of the United States.

With each decade, the shift toward the political environment is enhanced by the fears and threats that could one day come true but are used to tell a story in the film. Our fears are played out on screen such as invasion weather by alien forces or another country that is set to invade and take our rights away. There are several observable explanations for its wane in demand for these types of movies since our world is facing great threats of world instability, terrorism and disease. Science fiction alien invasion movies are on a decline because they are not relevant to our political atmosphere as they once were. They will have resurgence in these movies when the time is right and political times have changed to reflect these changes. As all great genres have up and downs of when they are most popular. Most movies are a reflection of the times we live in and the take on which the filmmakers reproduce them ideas for us to watch.


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