91251 genre revision
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91251: GENRE REVISION. Demonstrate understanding of an aspect of a media genre. DESCRIBE A GENRE STUDIED: DYSTOPIAN FILM.

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91251 genre revision


Demonstrate understanding of an aspect of a media genre

Describe a genre studied dystopian film


A genre studied this year is dystopian science fiction film. Dystopian films are set in the future and contain societies very similar to present day but with subtle differences. Usually the dystopia appears to be beneficial in some regard to the human race but in reality it is oppressive and controlling of its citizens. The society is fundamentally flawed with only one elite group benefitting from the misery to which the rest of the society is subject. Dystopian films also tend to reflect an aspect of the society in which they were made and the concerns of that era. Dystopian science fiction films are often used as a vehicle for social commentary and as such are an extremely powerful mode of expression. These films also include impressive special effects which have improved dramatically over time due to technological developments.

What films have we studied

What films have we studied?

  • Blade Runner – Ridley Scott (1982)

  • Gattaca – Andrew Niccol (1997)

  • Minority Report – Steven Spielberg (2002)

  • Surrogates – Jonathon Mostow (2009)

Blade runner ridley scott 1982

Blade Runner – Ridley Scott (1982)

The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019 in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants—visually indistinguishable from adult humans—are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation. Their use on Earth is banned and replicants are exclusively used for dangerous or menial work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and "retired" by police operatives known as "Blade Runners". The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles. As Nexus-6 models, they have only a four-year lifespan, and have come to Earth to try to extend their lives. Burnt out Blade Runner, Rick Deckard, reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down.

Gattaca andrew niccol 1997

Gattaca – Andrew Niccol (1997)

  • The film presents a dystopic vision of a future society driven by liberal eugenics where potential children are selected through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. Vincent Freeman is conceived and born without the aid of this technology. He is myopic, has a heart defect, and his projected life expectancy is only 30.2 years. Vincent faces genetic discrimination and prejudice. The only way he can achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut is to become a "borrowed ladder", a person who impersonates a "valid" with a superior genetic profile. He assumes the identity of Jerome Eugene Morrow, who had been injured in a car accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. A week before Vincent is to leave on the one-year mission, one of Gattaca's administrators is found bludgeoned to death in his office. Police discover an eyelash of the real Vincent on the premises, making him the prime suspect. Vincent must evade increasing security measures as his launch date approaches.

Minority report steven spielberg 2002

Minority Report – Steven Spielberg (2002)

Minority Report is set in Washington D.C in the year 2054. The film surrounds the system of “precrime”. A specialist police department apprehends criminals before they commit a crime based on the foreknowledge provided by three psychics called “precogs”. Captain John Anderton, the respected chief of the Washington D.C PreCrime police force is predicted to kill a man named Leo Crow. Anderton kidnaps the most powerful precog “Agatha” and sets out to prove his innocence, uncovering a major flaw in the system in the process

Surrogates jonathon mostow 2009

Surrogates – Jonathon Mostow (2009)

In the future, widespread use of remotely-controlled androids called "surrogates" allow everyone to live in idealized forms from the safety of their homes. A surrogate's operator is protected from harm and feels no pain when their surrogate is damaged. FBI agent Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) has a strained relationship with his wife Maggie (Rosamund Pike), due to their son's death several years before. He never sees her outside of her surrogate and she criticizes his desire to interact via their real bodies. Greer and his partner, Agent Jennifer Peter, investigate the death of two people who were killed when their surrogates were destroyed at a club. Jarid Canter, son of Dr. Lionel Canter, the inventor of surrogates, is one of the victims.

Summary of developments discuss three films per development




  • State the special effects used

  • Provide a specific example from the film which shows these special effects

  • Explain how / why the special effects were used. How have the special effects used changed from film to film and why.

  • Explain the implications of special effects development for the audience, society and genre.

  • State the themes which appear in each film

  • Provide a specific example from the film which shows this theme.

  • Explain how this theme reflected the concerns of the era in which it was made.

  • Explain the implications of thematic developments for the audience , society and genre.

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