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Codes And Conventions Of Science Fiction Within Danny Boyle's Sunshine

1879 words - 8 pages

Peter Takac 0710588
Examine a single American genre film in relation to its particular use of genre conventions.Danny Boyle: Sunshine (2007)Sunshine by Danny Boyle is a science fiction film that uses a lot of traditional codes and conventions of the science fiction genre. It uses codes and conventions from both the semantic and syntactic approach such as setting in the future, objects like spaceships and new technologies, characters like scientists ect. In a lot of ways the codes and conventions are traditional but Sunshine also innovates the genre.There are several approaches to define science fiction as a genre - semantic (descriptive) approach and a syntactic approach. The semantic approach tries to define the genres according to its visual codes and conventions such as settings, objects and characters. Science fiction films are usually set in the future, another galaxy or dimension. The film Sunshine is set in a relatively near future - fifty years from now in the year 2057. We are introduced to a crew of eight astronauts\scientists whose mission is to fly a nuclear bomb to 'the heart of our nearest star' and restart the nuclear reactions in its core. This kind of a mission is one of the characteristics of science fiction. According to Cook [Cook, 2007] science fiction involves extrapolated or fictituouse science, or fictituouse use of scientific possibilities. The genre shows the potential of new technologies, but also considers the potential threats.The astronauts are flying towards the Sun on Icarus II. Icarus II is the spaceship that is attached to the back of the stellar bomb. From the semantic approach the spaceship in the film is also one of the conventional objects of science fiction films. Another type of conventional objects are products of new technologies, like A.I. computers. These objects usually play a binary opposition to the human (e.g. HAL 9000). Science fiction often draws concern about the definition of the human through these kinds of oppositions [King, 2002]. One of the new technologies in Sunshine is the computer system Icarus. The computer systems should play the cold rational scientific in relation to emotions and feelings versus cold rationality. This can clearly be seen in the scene where Kaneda and Capa are repairing the hydraulic system on the shield. When a spark ignites a fire in the oxygen garden, Icarus turns the ship to prevent more damage despite the fact that Kaneda and Capa would die if the ship is turned to its original position. The explanation of Icarus is totally rational. According to the computer's calculations the lives of two men were lower priority in a mission that scale.The opposing role to the computer in the movie is the pilot, Cassie. She is the one who shows her emotions. In the scene where Corazon, Capa, Mase and Cassie are having the vote to kill Trey, Cassie is the only one that is against the killing of Trey. 'She knows the argument, she knows the logic'. If Trey dies the crew would...

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