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Lesson 3 - War of the Worlds Context


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Lesson 3 - War of the Worlds Context

  1. 1. FM2 – Section CComparative Analysis of TWO US films from the same genre
  2. 2. Starter TaskNote down a definition for the terms:GenreConvention Identify the conventions of the science fiction genre
  3. 3. Dystopian Alternative Futuristic future: Future setting State in whichthe conditions of Robots / Aliens Armageddon life are extremely bad (oppression/terr or/deprivation) Advanced Time Travel Technology / SCI FI A.I. Visionary Isolation In Groups CreateWhat if...? a mind-map listing as many Exploration of conventions (consistent elements) of the Unforeseen cultural issues Sci-Fi genre consequences High Concept of industrial advancement Fear of the Space Travel unknown
  4. 4. GenreWhat is a ‘Genre’?Genre is a method of film categorisationGenre refers to films that share similarities in theirnarrative construction, themes, character types,scenarios and aesthetic Aesthetic; Visual style (what is pleasurable to the eyes)
  5. 5. 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)
  6. 6. ‘Sci-Fi’ as aDue to the themes contained with genrescience fiction we may tend to thinkof the genre as a modern,contemporary form of storytellingScience Fiction has been around for along time! Dr. Frankenstien is a uses un-ethical scientific methods to create life!Consider Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’(1818)OrJules Verne’s “Twenty ThousandLeagues Under the Sea” (1870)
  7. 7. Sci-Fi as AllegoryBoth of these novels are seen as Allegorical tales that actually commenton issues taking place in the society of their authorsFrankenstein is seen as mans conflict withnature and his desire to conquer the naturalworldThis reflects Shelly’s opinions on the growingIndustrial revolution and mans seeminglyunstoppable desire to conquer nature andharness its powerShelly felt that these advancements took placewithout any though of their impact on theworld and saw this as potentially dangerous toall concerned
  8. 8. War of the th WorldsThe popularity of Science Fiction grew during the 19 Century and in 1989H.G. Welles published ‘War of the Worlds’Upon release it was interpreted as an allegoryfor British Imperialism and has been usedseveral times as an allegory for major socialand cultural events Read the synopsis of the book and highlight The underlying what you think are the key events subject of the text (Book / film / Can you identify any themes running radio play) throughout the books story?
  9. 9. War of the WorldsAlthough a Sci-Fi novel, the original story is set in Victorian London andreflects the authors own experiences at the time of writingIn 1898 the British Empire was the most dominantcolonial power on Earth, with London as it’spolitical and economic centreIf anyone were to attack the empire, London wouldbe the starting points for an ‘alien’ invasionFears grew at the time that immigration woulddramatically increase due to the empires sizeOthers feared the turn of the century, known asthe ‘end of the age’ many believed the apocalypsewould begin on the last day of 1898
  10. 10. War of the Worlds Given their fears, what emotions do you think people of the late 1890’s were feeling?Fear of the ‘unknown’ (End of theworld / ‘alien’ cultures migrating toBritain)ParanoiaThreatened – their way of life andculture appeared to be under threat ofannihilation, or invasion
  11. 11. ‘Sci-Fi’ as a genreAt the beginning of the 1930’s fears or annihilation and ‘alien invasion’grew in Europe and America – What caused this?The early 1930’s saw the rise of the Nazi party inEurope and once again feeling of Paranoia, fear,and being under threat begin to grow War of the Worlds returns!In 1938 Orson Welles produced a live radiobroadcast of War of the WorldsHis production terrified millions and tapped in tothe fear surrounding the rise of the Nazi party
  12. 12. ‘Sci-Fi’ as aA study at the time of the broadcast reveals interestingA study by the Radiopeople found the broadcastwho panickedfindings in to why Project discovered that some so genrepresumed that Germans, not Martians, hadterrifyinginvaded.[11]"The shadow of war (and Nazi invasion) was constantly in and on the air.People were on edge", wrote Welles biographer Frank Brady:“For the entire month prior to The War of the Worlds, radio had kept theAmerican public alert to the ominous happenings throughout the world.The Munich crisis was at its height. Adolf Hitler, in his address to theannual Nazi party congress at Nuremberg in September, called for theautonomy of the Sudetenland, an area on the Czech border regionspopulated by three million Sudeten Germans, as they were called. Hitlerranted and lied over German radio … For the first time in history, thepublic could tune into their radios every night and hear, boot by boot,accusation by accusation, threat by threat, the rumblings that seemedinevitably leading to a world war.[12]
  13. 13. War of the Worlds (cold war)After the Second World War tensions between the USSR and the UnitedStates began to growEach nation feared the others Nuclear Capabilities andparanoia and the threat of Nuclear annihilation intensified Once again WAR OF THE WORLDS returns! Watch the following trailer and answer the following questions:1. How does setting the film in a modern context alter the meaning of the film? 2. Who do you think the Aliens represent? 3. What are the themes of the film?
  14. 14. Commies from the ‘red’Transferring the film to a modern setting planet?automatically applies the themes of paranoia, fearand threat of annihilation to modern societyThe aliens (from the red planet) attempt annihilateAmerican society with advanced weaponryThe film deals with themes of fear, paranoia andannihilation –These themes reflect the feelings of manyAmericans at the time – fear of the USSR’s nuclearambitions
  15. 15. SummaryWhat are the key themes that appear in all versions of War of the Worlds?How is the use of Aliens consistent throughout the series?The themes of Paranoia, Fear of Annihilation, Fear of ‘others’ (Aliens)Threats to the American way of life are apparent in each adaptation of the story Who are the ‘others’ in each of the War of the Worlds we have looked at today? (Who do the aliens represent?)
  16. 16. War of the Worlds (2005)We are now going to watch our first focus film: War of the Worlds (2005) Use your handout to make notes Concentrate on the key themes of the film