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Compare and contrast the films Independence Day and Close Encounters.

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Introduction

I will be looking at the films Independence Day and Close Encounters. Both films are of a sci-fi genre but they are very different in terms of mise-en-scene, audience and message. Throughout this essay Independence Day will be referred to as ID and Close Encounters will be referred to as CE. Both films use the setting of a secret base, in ID it had the 'SETI' (search for extra terrestrial investigation institute) as the films setting and in CE the setting was Devils Mountain which again is a secret military base. The iconography of both films is typical of that of sci-fi genre; for example, space ships, bright lights, lasers. In both films the costumes that are worn are also very similar and typical of the present day people at that time. ...read more.

Middle

CE was made in 1977 and was aimed at audiences who had a longer attention span because there wasn't much action. It was a big blockbuster film like ID but because technology had not advanced much by 1977 the special effects aren't what people would expect in the present day. Therefore I think that if it was released again now it wouldn't be a big hit movie, as not only aren the special effects not as good as what people would expect but it is not an action packed film like ID and modern people like a film to be action packed to fulfil the blood lust of the computer generation. The message of CE is very much about love and unity. ...read more.

Conclusion

The tones of the films are also very different. ID is a tense 'edge of your seat' film, it is also aggressive, destructive and combative where as CE is a very slow narrative based film rather then action based. It has a very calm and peaceful tone. CE also shows a mutual respect between the aliens and the humans which gives you a sense of wonder and inquisitiveness instead of a destructive and aggressive feeling you get with ID. The tones are very much reflected in the pace of the film too, as ID is very fast paced, short and snappy where as CE is slow paced and calm. Overall I think that the films are very different as they are aimed at different audiences and have different messages as they are from different eras. However the films are similar in terms of mise-en-scene and are both instantly recognisable to be a sci-fi genre. Louise Rich Media Studies ...read more.

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