Lesson 5 - Post 911 Cinema

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For all clips used in lesson please visit our YouTube channel …

For all clips used in lesson please visit our YouTube channel



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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-uz_tZptuU – Shark Attack
  • Create handout summarising the Patriots act
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NikEQy1XxDE


  • 1. FM2 – Section CComparative Analysis of TWO US films from the same genre
  • 2. LearningResearch the history of Objectives‘War of the Worlds’ Analyse the use of ‘the other’ and identify key themes in War of the Worlds Begin screening of ‘War of the Worlds’ (2005)
  • 3. What if….?The ‘What if…’ scenario is arguably the generic convention that mostdefines the Sci-Fi Genre. It allows filmmakers to identify issues/taboosubject in modern society and propose possible outcomes/reactions tothose issues Did you identify any ‘What if…?’ scenarios in War of the Worlds? What if we are apathetic to the threats presented by terrorists? What if we ignore the potential dangers posed by ‘outsiders’? What if America arrogantly assumes they are immune to wide scale assault?
  • 4. 9/11 CinemaThe film industry has always held a prominent places insociety and has the power to alter, challenge and reinforce ouropinions and ideologiesFantasy films for example, take what isfantastical and makes it a realityHorror films use lighting and sound (or theabsence of) to make our worst fears come tolife on screen before usThe things we see on the cinema screen comefrom us!They come from our society!
  • 5. 9/11 CinemaAs a genre, Sci-Fi allows filmmakers to break or challengesocial norms through the use of the ‘What if…’ scenarioWhat if… we could travel in time?What if… we discovered Alien beings?What if… we could make Intelligent Robots thatthink for themselvesWhen we ask the question ‘What if…’ we canimagine the possibilities, but the question alsoraises fears:Fears of the ramifications of these developments!
  • 6. 9/11 CinemaWar of the Worlds uses the ‘What if…’ scenario to commentupon post 9/11 AmericaIn our exam we must show an understanding of howour focus films reflect the society that produced themSince the events of 9/11 many films can be considered‘Post 9/11’ What do you think ‘Post 9/11 Cinema means’? Films released since 9/11 that comment upon the 2001 terror attacks, subsequent wars or other social issues that have arisen as a result of 9/11
  • 7. Post 9/11 CinemaCan you think of any films that can be considered post-9/11 cinema? Films released since 9/11 that comment upon the 2001 terror attacks, subsequent wars or other social issues that have arisen as a result of 9/11 The films don’t have to mention 9/11 or war directly, just contain some of the themes and social issues raised by the attack on Sept 11th and the fallout: War Fear Paranoia Loss of certain freedoms
  • 8. 9/11 Cinema
  • 9. Read the ‘Post 9/11 Cinema’ essay and highlightwhat you think are the most interesting pointsHighlight areas that you may use in youressay for War of the Worlds
  • 10. Case Study 1- TheThe first Batman movie was released in 1966 Dark Knightand was a reflection of the optimism of abooming post-war American economy and the‘summer of love’ mentality Watch this extract and consider the reasons why The Dark Knight is so differentUnlike previous incarnations of Batman thatrelied on camp mise-en-scene and hammy,over-acted performances, The Dark Knightpositions the caped crusader in to a world verysimilar to our own
  • 11. Case Study 1- TheThe threat The Dark Knight faces is a Dark Knightvillain aiming to destroy peoples way of “Some men aren’tlife and spread terror across Gotham looking for anything(New York substitute) logical like money. You either die a They can’t be bought, hero, or reasoned or bullied, live long How are the Joker’s actions / enough to see Some ideologies similar to that of a negotiated with. yourself become men just want to terrorist? the villain world burn” watch theWe also see the best intentions ofpoliticians perverted by fear andanger – we can read a lot in to therole of Harvey Dent
  • 12. Case Study 1- The Dark Knight Watch the following extracts and make notes on the following questions:In what ways can does the Joker reflect post 9/11society?What visual references to 9/11 can you identify?What post 9/11 themes can you identify?(remember the Patriots Act?)If the Joker is talking about our reality, what doeshe mean by ‘It’s all of the plan’?
  • 13. Case Study 1- The Dark KnightComic book characters have always seen a rise inpopularity after traumatic eventsSuperman & Batman were even transformed in toNazi bashing hero’s during WWIIBy commenting upon issues such as a ‘hostage video’,a secret surveillance system etc Nolan draws directparallels between the world of TDK and the real worldIn placing the Joker as the sole enemy in TDK, Nolan isexploring a fantasy that existed post 9/11The Joker is easily identifiable as a villain and threatto the American way of life – a clear representation ofterrorists
  • 14. Case Study 1- The Dark KnightWhen a nation is at war films with clearly identifiableheroes are favoured by audiences I think people want to Why do you think this is? get in to the minds of people who do these kind of things. AndWhen the target is clear the hero is able to they want to seeplay to an audiences desire for revenge American’s kick their buttsPresenting the Joker as a clear representationof terrorism the audience is hoping to see theall-American Hero defeat the ‘bad-guy’Portraying the Joker as a terrorist also offers anunderstanding of the motives behind acts ofspectacular violence
  • 15. Case Study 1- The Dark KnightThe Dark Knight contains the following themes:Gotham City (New York’s alter ego) is underattackCivilians are killed indiscriminatelyThe perpetrator has no apparent motive (Terror)Politicians cashing in on paranoia A sky scrapper with a burning hole in its centre. This image isHostages used to relay demands on T.V. Screens not seen in the film. Why use it on aA campaign against an ‘evil doer’ that transforms promotional poster?in to a personal battle, not a reasoned response
  • 16. Case Study 1- The Dark KnightChristopher Nolan tap’s in to our deepcultural anxiety about terror to positionhis vision of Gotham in a ‘reality’ we canrecogniseThe closing vision of Gotham is of apessimistic landscape of corruption,chaos and fear – an image that, even 11years after 9/11, feels disturbinglyfamiliar
  • 17. Case Study 2 – ‘Children of Men’Children of men Trailer – download and embed
  • 18. Case Study 2 – ‘Children of Men’Set in the United Kingdom of 2027, the filmexplores a grim world in which two decadesof global human infertility have left humanitywith less than a century to survive. Societalcollapse, terrorism, and environmentaldestruction accompany the impendingextinction.Meanwhile, the United Kingdom—perhapsthe last functioning government—persecutesa seemingly endless wave of illegal immigrantrefugees seeking sanctuary.Director Alfonso Cauron described the film as“a complex meditation on the politics oftoday
  • 19. Children of Men Watch the following extract and make notes about the social context Consider:What elements of our society are discussed within the film?How does ‘social context’ inform our opinions of the film?How does Alfonso Cauron (director) represent his views on society? Do you recognise any visual references to post 9/11 news/media?
  • 20. Case Study 2 – ‘Children of Men’Children of Men explores theconsequences of a culture offear being exploited by those inpowerThe film is set in a ‘possible’future based on the events of9/11 and the fall out thatfollowedImmigration is seen as a sourceof terror and immigrants areseen as something to fear
  • 21. Case Study 3 – War of the Worlds In groups of 4 you must now create a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Case Study 3 – War of the WorldsEach presentation must contain at least 8 slides focusing on a different theme / area of analysis / Post 9/11 reference Consider: • Reaction to the film • Spielbergs thoughts on the films 9/11 context • How does the film visually reference 9/11? • How are the themes covered in our previous lessons explored throughout the film?