The exam formula (how to approach your exam answer)“To what extent are your chosen texts typical oftheir genre?” 2011 ExamStage one – Identify your 3 texts and their genres in aintroductionStage two – For each text demonstrate an understanding of thegenre conventions that apply. (Choose 3 genre conventions)Stage three – For each individual genre convention chosen,ensure you give an example of a scene reference.High grade students can link theory and contextual information to justifygenre
1.The narrative themes of;Aliens and humans coexistingNew technologies and their consequencesTransformation/body horror (Postmodernist – paying homage)2. The use of advanced scientiﬁc eventswithin a ﬁctional narrative to propose anddiscuss a real moral debate3. Traditional iconography (the visualimages and symbols used in a work of art) Sci-Fi Genre Conventions
Sci-Fi Genre ConventionsNeil Blomkamp’s “District 9” pays homage to the genre and speciﬁcally to DavidCroenberg’s “The Fly” a previous Sci-Fi, via a intertextaul reference. This gratiﬁesthe preferred audiences viewing needs.
1.The use of on screen graphic to introduce characters/contributors2. Camera time codes3. Acknowledgement of the camera4. The use of interviews/vox pops Documentary style GenreConventions
The ﬁlms contextApartheidThe city in question is the directors hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa. Theﬁlm was made after apartheid was abolished in South Africa. This overt satireeffectively encourages the audience to ask questions the movie is uninterested inanswering. It’s been 33 years since South Africa’s Soweto riots stirred the world’s disgust with thatcountry’s regime where legal segregation kept blacks “apart” and in “hoods” (thus,Apartheid) The text discusses these issues but via Aliens and Humans.RaceA row broke out over the ﬁlms representation of Nigerians as gang members,weapons dealers, cannibalistic, voodoo using prostitutes. A back lash from blogscomplained the ﬁlm would reinforce negative stereotypes of the country. A Facebookgroup, District 9 hates Nigerians, was also hastily created, and is urging people to signa petition demanding an apology from the ﬁlm-makers.
If District 9 really does hate Nigerians, it clearly hates its powerful, white characterseven more. Objecting to Nigerians being portrayed as morally bankrupt criminals seemspointless when almost every group of characters in the ﬁlm have little or no regard forthe law and a predominately negative representation.The company in charge of shipping the aliens away from humans, MNU, and many ofthe white politicians giving the orders are invariably ignorant, double-crossing,ironically inhumane and corrupt. The soldiers are again white, with characteristics ofbeing easily mind-controlled thugs, using violence, threats and tricking aliens intosigning dubious eviction notices. Scientists are white and carry out underhandexperiments on captured "Prawns"; Even the representation of the aliens is negative,they arm themselves with illegal weapons and brawl in the streets.Blomkamp makes it clear the Nigerians are no better or worse than their white (or alien)counterparts, creating an unsettling sort of equality among the characters.And while the ﬁlm may occasionally play on clumsy racial stereotypes, it alsoencourages us to challenge them. All are represented in a negative nature when inpower.Blomkamp passes the baton back to us as viewers to question how our own beliefs shapeour opinion of representation and racism. Are we defensive when in a minority? Are weunaware when in a majority? However right or wrong or cynically you viewBlomkamp’s views, what is undoubtedly true and maybe a little ironic is it is he who hasthe opportunity to present them and it is he who is a white middle age male.
District 9, A Post Modern Film?Typical features include a deliberate mixing of different artisticstyles and media, the self-conscious use of earlier styles andconventions,Hybrid genreSatire/Parody (why should it not be entertaining for a ﬁlm todiscuss heavy political and spectatorship issues?)Dilution and mixture of genre HomageThe postmodern author deliberately undercuts the smoothsurface of his narrative and by somehow standing back andcommenting on the action prevents the reader from losingthemself in the story.