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Genre: Science Fiction Dystopia Essay

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Updated: Apr 23rd, 2019


The film industry comprises many types of film products, which are commonly known as ‘movie genres’. A movie genre is conventionally a class under which a movie falls with regard to its characteristics, nature of the storyline, and theme.

As different types of audiences have different interests that make them to prefer different movie genres, so do the filmmakers, which explains why there are numerous genres in the film industry. In other words, genres are defined in a bid to please a certain audience whose interests are satisfied and relay particular information in the best possible way to the audience (Acher and Pincus 56).

Science Fiction Dystopia Genre

Science fiction dystopia is one of the most fascinating movie genres of the twenty first century. In the contemporary world, people have made a great deal of progress as far as the issue of technology and science is concerned. Therefore, there is great anxiety as to where the technological development is taking the world.

To the advantage of the filmmakers, the existence of anxiety enables them to create movies that display the usage of technology in the future and its harmful replications that would crop up concerning the relationship between humans and scientific developments.

However, science fiction dystopia is almost the same as the horror movie genre. The difference lies in the former’s minimal role of human beings directly involved in causing harm to human life and products of scientific progress taking different roles in the movies as opposed to the horror movies.

In addition, it is possible for more than one film genres to be incorporated into a movie in order to produce a hybrid-genre film work. A good example is the case where war films incorporate modernized weapons that are products of fiction science as it has been the case in a majority of the twenty first century movies.

Although science fiction dystopia is one of the strongest movie genres, it is often very hard to apply it singly in a film without having to incorporate other genres. Science and technology are useful elements to human life due to their ability to solve problems that human beings face in their daily life. In addition, it is used to save money and time while increasing efficiency of the work done without it being applied.

Hence, there has to be inherent problems facing human characters in order for the genre to make sense in a movie. Its application exhibits its ability to give efficient solutions to the problems affecting human characters throughout the movie (Acher and Pincus 78).

Comparing and Contrasting Science Fiction Dystopia with Other Movie Genres

Four main movie genres were studied in the class work, which include science fiction dystopia, the western, the war films, and crime detective or noir film genre.

The western genre is the most common movie genre used to highlight the dominance and development of both American and European cultures and economies to the rest of the world. The western genre is the backbone of all other movie genres that are produced in the United States.

Looking into the film industry as part of literature, since it is a virtual literature work, movies are used to highlight human cultures and social behaviors. Literature is a definite mirror of the society whereby a storyline is filled with cultural and social ethics of the human characters in use, and thus the film’s storyline highlights the same for the human characters that are in play.

For instance, the movie, High Noon, seeks to highlight social issues in the American society. A retired Marshal (Will Kane) is about to die in the hands of a convict (Frank Miller) he helped to bring to justice. Kane seeks help from the society but it is too afraid to stand up to the task. Ultimately, Kane’s relatives leave the town, but his wife, Amy, changes her mind and rescues Kane, who shoots Miller dead.

As aforementioned, the western genre mirrors societal issues and crime, murder, and revenge are real issues in the American society. In addition, as opposed to science fiction dystopia, the western genre uses real people as characters to highlight real societal issues as shown in this movie.

However, this movie compares to science fiction by painting marshal Kane as a bold solo gunman who confronts a gang of dissidents. Kane comes out as a ‘superhuman’, and such characteristics are only found in science fiction dystopia.

The war film genre is also common in the film industry especially after the events of the World War II. Looking back into the relevance of the film industry to the society, movies are a part of literature that reflects the image of a society through virtual images. Hence, many movies have been played in the last half of the twentieth century, which tends to explain the events of the World War II across the world.

The war film genre is based on human and social relations that are conflicting and in most cases leading to war. For instance, the movie Twelve O’clock High is a twentieth century war film that was produced in 1949 and it is one of the most successful movies of the century. The movie is about the United States’ Army Air Force who flew for bombing missions against the Nazi German forces.

The movie is generally a fiction war film, as it was not based on real events of the war, but just an imaginary story of the events that could have taken place in the World War II (Rubin 87). The movie paints the American Air Force as the only force with the best war machineries when compared with other countries.

Science fiction dystopia has been used here to display the great efficiency of war machineries that the United States had in possession at the time (Rubin 65). Again, this genre differs from science fiction dystopia due to the use of real people to show real events in a real world.

However, this film takes after science fiction dystopia via the use of flashbacks where Harvey Stovall buys a jug from a stall and remembers the events of 1942 where the story begins and all other scenes appear futuristic.

The crime detective or noir film genre is also common in the film industry. Crime detective is an important area of expertise in any given society across all social parameters in the world. The genre is applicable in situations where a crime occurs and detective mission is undertaken to reveal the possible causes and the series of events that could have transpired when it took place.

Crime detective is an involving task that tries to look into past events that are unknown to prove the hypothetical truth for necessary action to be undertaken. The movie, The Maltese Falcon, which is a noir film, a golden falcon on its way from Malta to Spain disappears to the hands of pirates probably due to its worth. Sherlock Miles Archer dies in mysterious circumstances as he follows a lead to a missing girl.

The missing girl’s sister, Miss Ruth, is responsible for the death, but she frames Archer’s partner, Sam Spade, who was supposed to have accompanied Archer, but he broke protocols. Now Spade has to look for alibi and come up with strong evidence that he did not kill his partner. In the process of knowing the truth, he discovers the golden falcon and retrieves it before hiding it at a bus terminal.

He then manages to know the Archer’s killer, but ultimately realizes that the falcon he has is fake. However, he manages to prove that Ruth was the real killer and even though they are emotionally involved, he arrests her and she is charged with Archer’s murder.

As mentioned, earlier noir films use real characters as opposed to science fiction dystopia. In this movie, science fiction does not have a place as all the events are real involving real people in real time.

The movie: Wall E

Wall E is a perfect science fiction dystopia movie as it involves robots in a futuristic earth cleaning exercise sometimes in the 29th Century. Every occurrence in the movie is futuristic and fictitious and no human beings are involved in the task.

The movie’s plot is rather intriguing as at the start of the 22nd Century, unnecessary consumerism replaces humanity courtesy of the garbage that comes from the consumerism wastes.

In addition, the movie offers solutions to such the dire consequences of the consumerism issue. In another science fiction movie, Gattaca, the issue of genetics is explored widely. The movie shows how genetic manipulation can be used to aid individuals to overcome diseases and premature deaths.

Contemporarily, humans’ life span is decreasing and diseases like cancer amongst others are becoming a thorn in the flesh of humanity. I like Gattaca as it shows that not all is lost and people can still manipulate genetics to their advantage to overcome problems that appear insurmountable contemporarily.


Film work is irrelevant until genres are considered and well applied in a film. Of all the four genres that were studied in class, science fiction dystopia is the most favorable for the twentieth and the twenty-first century movies. The economic and social developments of the world are engulfed in scientific and technological developments where nearly all problems have scientific solutions.

In addition, there is a great fear and anxiety in the contemporary world as technology is viewed to have taken the social evolutions many steps ahead from where humanity was half a century ago. That anxiety forms the basis on which filmmakers use to create imaginary storylines, in which future scientific developments are exhibited.

Of all movie genres studied in class, science fiction dystopia is superior to all others as it can be incorporated in almost all other genres. In addition, I like science fiction as it seeks to warn people and offer futuristic solutions to anticipated problems and that to me matters a lot as life is all about solving problems.

For instance, in Wall E, people are warned of unnecessary consumerism, which is slowly gaining pace in the contemporary times. In Gattaca, it is clear that humanity can use genetic manipulation to its advantage to clone superior being and overcome the problem of waning life span and diseases like cancer and insanity.

Works Cited

Acher, Steven, and Edward Pincus. The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age, New York: Plume, 2012. Print.

Rubin, Steven. Combat Films: American Realism, 1945–2010, Jefferson: McFarland, 2011. Print.


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