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Compare two Sci-fi films from different decades; 'The day the Earth stood still' (1951) and 'Independence Day' (1996)

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Introduction

Compare two Sci-fi films from different decades; 'The day the Earth stood still' (1951) and 'Independence Day' (1996). Describe and account for the major differences and similarities between them. The Day the Earth stood still and Independence Day were both made by 20th century fox. This company used to be one of the main 5 in the 50's, and is a well - known conglomerate company, recognised for their Sci-fi genre. Star wars and X-files are two other of their best-known productions. The institution that made the films is one similarity; the main difference in the films is the historical context. 20th century fox made 'The Day the Earth stood still' in the 1950's, the decade in which sci-fi films were at their peak. It was post world war 2, where people first had to live with the reality of nuclear wars and the end of the world. This was also the time of the Cold War 'stand off' between the communists and the West. ...read more.

Middle

For example, the title sequences are very similar to each other, with spaceships coming to Earth, however Independence Day almost mocks the sci-fi genre. There is simple camera work and special effects in The day the Earth stood still, unlike the technological advances used in Independence day. Both films use the typical mis en scene of spaceships, aliens, and eerie music, however Independence Day does not need to use as much as the genre is already established and people find it easy to recognise. Independence Day uses the aliens as evil beings, whereas the aliens in The day the Earth stood still come in peace and are only forced to fight when the Americans use violence on them. Due to its historical context The day the Earth stood still uses stereotypical representations of gender, age and race, such as weak women, boisterous boys, the representation of the British, Indian and French characters. It is very male dominated with only one female character in the film, a mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

Independence day is a good example of Propps theory of basic situations and characters. The audience is similar in each film, they are both films aimed at men, sci-fi enthusiasts, cinema goers etc. The Day the earth stood still would have been made entirely for people to watch in the cinema meaning the audience would have been sat there watching it, however when 20th century fox made independence day they knew that the film would be watched on other formats such as DVD or video. This meant that they had to draw in the audience so that they would not turn over the channel or change the video. A good example if the way they have done this is by making the title sequence shorter and placing the credits at the end. 20th century fox have succeeded in recycling an old genre using modern methods and concepts, by altering the narrative to make two completely different stories, yet very similar movies. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sophie Curtis Media Studies Essay ...read more.

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