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Science Fiction: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind And Independence Day

1095 words - 5 pages

The genre of what is called science fiction has been around since The Epic of Gilgamesh (earliest Sumerian text versions BCE ca. 2150-2000). The last 4000 years has evolved science fiction and combined it with all categories of genres comprising action, comedy, horror, drama, and adventure in many different ways. From chest bursting aliens, to robot assassins sent back in time science fiction has successfully captured the imagination of nearly everyone that has been introduced to it. The movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Independence Day are both examples of films created with the idea of advanced life existing outside the boarders of our own world. The foundation for each film ...view middle of the document...

The extraterrestrials initiate first contact in both films. The reaction to which in both films the scientists tried flashing lights and playing music. In Independence Day the aliens responded to the light by blowing up cities. While in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the aliens responded with their own show of lights and sounds. Eventually leading to a friendly exchange in communication; both movies in this sense show similar containers for story, but extremely different philosophical views about how first contact will play out.
The differences in these two films are fairly easy to detect. The most obvious, are the differences in tone in the plots for first contact. While Independence Day decided to display advanced extraterrestrial life that does not enjoy the word peace and that an assumption by us to think otherwise can lead to disaster with the aliens desires to harvest our planet, eradicating human life in the process. Close Encounters of the Third Kind chose a more open-minded, friendly alien contact to become their theme. With friendly aliens that are “cute” and display slow non-hostile movement, characterized also in the “friendly nature” of the musical exchange.
The style of both films is also different, and this might be a reflection of society at the time the movies were made. Independence Day is an action movie, complete with explosions, and the John Wayne inspired tough guy one-liners. Meanwhile Close Encounters of the Third Kind takes more elements from a drama displaying the main characters as having strange dreams and compulsory urges. The chief characters in both these films exhibit traits that imitate on the movies genre, Independence Day’s action employs the Hollywood typical assortment of the quiet, loser geek that finds the aliens only vulnerability, while the smart-ass ace pilot who eventually uses that vulnerability to destroy the alien mother-ship, and a sincere, caring, honest president who evokes a view of humanity akin to what we generally want to view our species as embodying. The drama portrayed in Close Encounters of the Third Kind in stark contrast, portrays the main character stuck in an unfulfilled job and a dysfunctional family, a woman whose child is lost to the aliens, and a kindhearted assembly of characters who track the aliens.
The motives of the aliens were also...

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