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The Power Of Sci Fi Essay

1907 words - 8 pages

The science fiction genre, in particular science fiction films have, since their inception, be renowned for their earth defying concepts, ground breaking innovation and larger than life characters. Encompassing all facets contemporary science and technological innovation, the sci-fi genre covers everything from parallel universes to the creation of artificial intelligence. With such a broad canvas of imagination it is easy for directors and authors to create worlds where our real-life politics, morality, identities and even the fundamentals of human nature can be deconstructed and set out of balance. Moreover it can be seen that at the heart of most Sci-Fi films is a fear of the power of ...view middle of the document...

Through the use of effective cinematic style, especially in regards to mise en scene, in The Terminator, James Cameron has created an environment that reflects the power of science and technology in a contemporary setting. In regards to The Terminator’s mise en scene Cameron has cluttered the scenes with elements of contemporary technology and science that even though they are considered incidental to the narrative content, still contribute to what Pyle is calling “an pervasive and invasive penetration of technology” (Pyle 232). While these forms of technology namely, hair dryers, answering machines, toasters and phones, are not particularly harmful or threatening, it is what they signify that creates fear and demonstrates the power of technology and science (Pyle 232). Moreover, according to Forest Pyle these technologies represent interference to human communication and human agency and in regards to the terminator himself, are open to direct manipulation (Pyle 232). According to Telotte The Terminator “examines our ambivalent feelings about technology, our increasing anxieties about our own nature in a technological environment, and a kind of evolutionary fear that these artificial selves mat presage our own disappearance or termination” (Telotte 26). Telotte’s statement further explores the fear of pervasive technology, however he also mentions a fear of being destroyed by our own creations. This fear is evident in The Terminator, in particular Sarah Conner’s bewilderment when she is first confronted by this technological world gone hostile. In this particular scene Cameron has used this confusion to function firstly as narrative content which increases the films initial suspense and secondly as an allegory of our possible enslavement to and potential liberation from technology (Pyle 232). Therefore it can be seen that in regards to cinematic style, in particular the mise en scene in the film The Terminator, James Cameron has reflected the power of science and technology in a contemporary setting by illustrating the pervasive nature of technology in our homes and daily lives.
Moreover, it can be seen, that both Ridley Scott and James Cameron have effectively used the figure of the artificial human or ‘cyborg’, along with particular cinematic styles, in order to reflect key facets of human nature. According to Hannah Arendt “The human artifice if the world separates human existence from all mere animal environment, but life itself is outside this artificial world, and through life man remains related to all other living organisms”(Arendt 2). In addition to this Ardent goes on to explain that in recent times many scientific experiments and endeavours have been directed and focused on removing the last tie between man and nature, and creating artificial life (Arendt 2). In the case of science fiction films, in particular Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and James Cameron’s The Terminator, this theme of artificial life and the subsequent dangers...

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