FM2 – Section CComparative Analysis of TWOUS films from the same genre
Starter TaskWrite down a definitionfor the following terms:AllegoryPost 9/11 Cinema Note down your own definition of: ‘ideologies’ ‘iconography’
Learning ObjectivesConsider the use oficonography and ideologyin War of the Worlds Analyse key scenes from the film and identify the ways the can be considered allegorical Evaluate the use of icons and key themes in War of the Worlds
War of the WorldsAs we have already seen War of the Worlds has been used asan allegory ever since it was first publishedFor our exam we must be able to analyse thefilm as a work of art (micro elements)We must also demonstrate that we understandthe allegorical nature of the films we will study Watch the following clips from 9/11 and note down the ways the events seen have influenced, or been transferred in to War of the Worlds (2005)
War of the Worlds The key themes we identified as common to all adaptations of War of the Worlds are: • Paranoia • Fear of Annihilation • Threats from outsides or ‘Others’Create a list of scenes from the film that contain or reinforce these themes
Ideologies What are the ideologies of the Alien attackers? What is their goal?The Aliens are intent on exterminatinghuman life and replacing it with theirownThey see humans as inferior andunworthy beings that should bedestroyedThey are different in appearance,practice an alien way of life and followa challenging ideology – they arepositioned perfectly to representAmericas view on terrorists post 9/11
IconographyIn film ‘icons’ are visual signifiers usedto transmit information about acharacter or location to the audience Did you spot any ‘iconography’ from 9/11 in War of the Worlds? Is that theAudiences recognise icons of 9/11 in Terrorists?the film and a link is made betweenthe two eventsThis is the goal of the film andcontributes to War of the Worldsstatus as a ‘Post 9/11’ film
War of the Worlds – Key ScenesWatch the following scene and make notes on the following:How is fear of annihilation portrayed in the scene? How is this scene visually reminiscent of 9/11? What other themes / ideas / comments or references to 9/11 can you identify?
War of the Worlds –Throughout this scene a lot of low angle shots are Key Scenesused – these shots serve several purposes• Create an eye line match• Most footage from 9/11 was shot from people on the ground – most of our memories and iconic images from the events are low angle camera shots• The grey dust the people turn in to is visually reminiscent of the dust clouds that swarmed New York after the collapse of the Twin Towers• The track towards and close up of the video camera – we see the events via a video camera – the same method most images from 9/11 were recorded and then broadcast around the world
War of the Worlds – Key ScenesFilm is ‘un-reality’ – as a result our brainsattempt to view film in a context we understandThe visual references employed by Spielberg arefamiliar to the audience and we are reminded ofthe 9/11 attacks when we watch the filmWe are constantly connecting actions seen onscreen to the real world in order to make senseof them
What fear? Create a list of reasons why people felt a heightened sense of fear and paranoia in the aftermath of 9/11Given the nature of the 9/11 attacks, people fearedanother surprise attack on America "Paranoia is what happens when youre afraid thatNews programs fed theis coming fear by something feelings of at yourepeatedly re-running the attacks and stories about right around the corner, but itterrorists in the USA never materializes," he told the Los Angeles Times duringThe government introduced ‘terror"Our levels’ production, adding, threatand would constantly remind people that the terror story starts with paranoia,level was HIGH or move very to the red ‘SEVERE’ which is it up quicklybox – leading to increased feelings of paranoia and realised."fear of future attacks
Using our own analysis and information from the previousslides complete the following: In what ways does War of the Worlds reflect the 9/11 terror attacks? You must include: Analysis of Mise-en-scene Discussion of themes References to real life events that are portrayed and can be seen in the film
War of the Worlds – Key ScenesWatch the following scene and make notes on the following:How is this scene visually reminiscent of the events and ‘iconography’ of 9/11?Why do you think Speilberg included the media in this scene? Why did he represent them in this way?
War of the Worlds – Key ScenesThe first image we see outside the home is adowned passenger plane – an icon of 9/11 that isnow closely linked to the iconography ofterrorismThe reporter replays events and parts of theattack Ray has not seen – the same way we sawthe 9/11 attacks; on a TV screen repeated againand againThe aliens are referred to as ‘them’ –distinguishing them as others
Using our own analysis and information from the previousslides complete the following: In what ways does War of the Worlds comment upon post 9/11 society? You must include: Analysis of Mise-en-scene Discussion of themes References to real life events that are portrayed and can be seen in the film
War of the Worlds – Key Scenes Watch the following scene and make notes on the following:How is the theme of ‘Paranoia’ used throughout this scene? How does it add tension to the scene? What else can we saw about the character of Ogilvy?
War of the Worlds – Key ScenesOgilvy is reminiscent of a conspiracy theorist –he claims the Aliens have been here all alongwithout our knowledgeHe is referring to ‘sleeper-cells’ – enemies hiddenin our midst waiting for the right time to attackHis paranoia begins to control him and hisactions become more erratic and dangerous tothose around himHe is also living up in a basement, thestereotypical habitat of conspiracy theorists
War of the WorldsWar of the Worlds uses Iconography of the 9/11 Terrorattacks to create links between the events seen in the film,and real lifeBy doing this Spielberg is drawing comparisons between thereal and ‘un-real’He sets the film in a post 9/11 world – this places the film in acontext – a scenario very similar to our ownThe themes of fear, paranoia etc are feelings felt by societyand the film taps in to those feelings and manipulates them –subconsious links between the causes of the real fear and thefear generated in the film are made
Log on to the network and write an essay answer to the following question: How useful have your wider contextualstudies been in understanding similaritiesand differences in the American films you have studied for this topic? Use the following labels: Your name War of the Worlds essay question 1
ID Three scenes and then analyse themFirst – tripod attack video camera grey smoke extermination terrorist and aliens share an ideology2nd – plane crash outside home plane as an icon video replay of attacks via media3rd Oligvy Paranoia / conspiracy theories4th – return home – mise-en-scene of families torn apart /re-united by disaster