Science fiction film - Essay Example

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The science fiction film genre has been around almost as long as movies have, but like the cinema it is still a fairly young art form. This genre came into existence shortly after the invention of the movie camera in 1888 and has endured for over one-hundred years…
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Science fiction film
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When discussing the science fiction film genre a problem occurs. The distinction between science fiction and other genres is not always clear cut. Many movies span between the science fiction genre and other genres. Movies such as The Ring (2002) or the Alien series (1979, 1986, 1992, 1997) illustrate how the distinction between science fiction and horror films can be obscure. (Telotte, 2001) Some comedies, such as Mars Attacks (1996) and Back to the Future (1985), are very much science fiction. (Mitchell, 2001) In fact there is an example of a science fiction film fitting into almost any genre. Starship Troopers (1997) parallels a war film and Outland (1981) resembles a western in many respects. (Telotte, 2001)
The characteristics that define the science fiction genre can be difficult to pin down. A genre such as the western has easily identifiable characteristics such as cowboys, guns, the Wild West, and bad guys with mustaches. The average person would have no trouble picking out a science fiction film but when asked to come up with a definition, most would struggle. After being exposed to a number of science fiction films people are able to recognize characteristics and clues that together to constitute a cultural consensus of what a science fiction film is. ...
physical world with some type of twist which answers the question "what if." In other words it deals less with explicit characteristics and conventions and more with cultural concerns. Science fiction films give us a taste of what our lives would be like if our technological situation were different. (Newman, 1999) These technological changes could be a result of humans taking a different path in the past or the present, evolving into the future or as a result of a visit by extraterrestrials. It may sound obvious but a science fiction film is fiction. While science fiction films deal with real concerns they are entirely fictional. The film Deep Impact (1998) plays on our fear of Armageddon. (Mitchell, 2001) While an asteroid could strike earth and destroy humanity, it has not happened. For the purposes of this essay the definition of science fiction is a film that explores the repercussions of a technological situation that differs from our current relationship with technology. This definition is adequate in describing the majority of science fiction films but is still open to debate.
The main distinguishing feature between the human mind and Artificial Intelligence is consciousness (Frantz, 2003). While it is true that computers are far from being fully assimilated to the human brain, advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence shed light on many features of the human mind that were previously unknown and that is a reliable indicator that there are innumerable similarities between the two. The most obvious contrast is the brain and mind in humans compared to hard drive and software in computers. Brain is the entity responsible for storing information and executing the mechanical aspect of information processing while the hard drive carrying the same function in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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