Title: Is 'Children Of Men' a typical science fiction film?
Hypothesis: Children Of Men is not a typical science fiction film. It uses documentary and cinema verite style filming (amongst other things) to differentiate itself from other sci-films. 'Blade Runner', 'Minority Report' and 'I, Robot' are all films that can be classified as typical science fiction films and will be used in the study consistently in proving that Children Of Men is indeed not a typical sci-fi film.
Costumes - The clothes worn by the protagonist of the play are very simple and lack glamour. They give a working class look to Theo. In general, despite the setting of 2027, fashion does not seem to have changed from the present day. In camps, the clothes worn by the people are very raggid and poor which add to the effect of a dystopian society.
Lighting - Throughout the film low key lighting is regularly used, particurarly in places such as the camps. Again, this is to add to the effect of a dystopian society.
Setting/Mise-en-scene - Filmed in gritty and harsh settings and conditions. Enviromental destruction is always visible in nearly all the settings used throughout the movie. One of the only places which experience peace for a certain amount of time is Theo's friend's hideout, set in an isolated region of woods.
There are many ideologies put across in 'Children Of Men'. A reoccuring theme of the film is that 'the future is a thing of the past'. The ideology put across in this statement is that if the governments of today fail to deal with the problems and issues we are facing at present, they will have both disastrous and fatal consequences in the future. In turn, this shows the film is putting across a political ideology. Other ideologies put across are that people are still struggling to deal with the threat of terrorism amongst other things.
Children Of Men is a science-fiction film. Rather than concentrate on the more typical features of a sci-fi film (special effects, advancement in technology etc.), the film instead concentrates more on the storyline and the themes and issues present in the 2027 setting. The special effects, though rarely used, are only there to enhance the storyline rather than replace it. Though a sci-film, it seems Children Of Men chooses to reject many common features found in typical sci-fi flims.
Males are represented, without surprise, as the more dominant sex in the film. Jobs considered traditionally to be 'man's jobs' are still carried out by the men, such as being soldiers and fighting for the army. In addition, the safety of the pregnant woman lies in the hand of a male, so he is in turn seen as the protector, or even the hero who is on a adventure. The leading female character in the film (Theo's Wife) is represented as a strong individual with a high position in society (she is experiencing more success than her husband Theo).
Due to its many political ideologies that the film is putting across, it can be assumed an older target audience of perhaps 20 - 30 year olds, both male and female are being targeted. This is because they are expected have good knowledge of the present news and issues that the film uses as a cause for the state the future setting is in. Furthermore, as the film is set in 2027, this age group will feel obliged to watch the film as the future concerns them, and the film is showing the possible consequences of what can happen if today's issues are not solved.
The film was distributed by Universal Studios, a major American film studio. The fact that this institution chose to distribute a film that was directed by a relative newcomer and stars many foreign actors is interesting.
The film does not follow Todorov's theory, as used by many other sci-films as there is no equlibrium at the start. However, the film does make use of Propps' theory as the protagonist, Theo, can be seen as a hero due to his mission of transporting the african refugee to safety. A binary opposition of good vs. evil (Levi Strauss) is also used, but rather in a less direct manner as the evil (The Fishes') can be seen as a politically extreme group fighting for a good cause (rights for immigrants).
Social: Addressing current soical issues and how different groups and individuals react to and deal with them.
Historical: The historical part of the film can be seen as the issues we are facing today and how if not resolved, they will impact our society in the future.
Economical: The theme of poor is an issue shownrepeatedly throughout the film as many of the scenes are filmed in slum locations and camps.
Political: The film addresses the issue that if today's governments fail to deal with the present issues they are facing, there could be disastrous consequences in the future.
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