Science fiction films have been misunderstood at times to be simply, “films that feature rocketships" (Johnston 7). However, science-fiction is something that expands a much wider range than just a few flying saucers. Science-fiction films have long allowed for the exploration and discussion of controversial topics, providing us with insightful social commentary on current, or potential future issues. With a setting usually futuristic or similar to that present-day Earth, science-fiction are capable of addressing topics that usually would be taboo for discussion in another form. As Casper states in a section on Film Genres and The Genre Film, “the genre of science fiction establishes a sense of continuity between our cultural present and
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Icons to not necessarily have to fall into visual aspect of of the film. Components of dialogue, music, and casting can all be non visual aspects that help create a genre’s iconography. During the classical period of films, “there is an argument (at least in 1950s films) for a shared iconography of missile-shaped rockets, flying saucers, and the ubiquitous star field…” (Johnston 9). These rockets, flying saucers, and star field are all widely seen in War of the Worlds, but not at all present in The Andromeda Strain. The presence of these icons in one film and not the other, can be explained by the fact that a genre’s iconography can be elucidated as a projection of culture’s ideology at the time. At the time of War of the Worlds, in the early 50s the Space Race had not yet begun, but there was a cultural impact that had begun to take over society’s impression of universal exploration. These interpretations by film makers resulted in the creation of these icons and their use throughout classical period in science fiction genre films.
The central conflicts present throughout science fiction genre films is war-a war animated and resolved by an individual male hero (as seen in, War of the Worlds), or by a collective effort (in The Andromeda Case). Science fictions are considered to be set within a determinate space due to the symbolic arena of action. This means that they are set within a familiar space that is recognizable to the audience. The most commonly used