Friday, February 18, 2011

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, because it premiered in 1956, was a thrilling, disturbing science fiction/alien film at the time. Today of course we laugh at the 50s wit and terror because we have become accustomed to many special effects. In the film there were no monsters, no deaths, and no real violence when the aliens would take over the humans. Instead the aliens would “absorb” their minds after reproducing a double of their bodies. As Suvin defined science fiction as a literature of cognitive estrangement, Invasion of the Body Snatchers did represent the combination of realism and fantasy. The aliens grew from “pods” that sort of depicted a life cycle of a plant, relating to the rational principles of biology.

One of the more entertaining aspects of the film was the depiction of women. The character Becky was at most times delicate and helpless. While it was comical to watch, in a sense this was the way that women were treated and perceived during that time period. They were treated as fragile creatures, which needed care and men for most everything. Women did not take prominent roles in this film because it would have been radical for that time.

1 comment:

  1. The concept of realism in films is interesting to look at. Today we expect films to pull us into an alternate reality where no matter the crazy concepts the film depicts, it is believable in the way characters, scenery, etc. are depicted. Over time, film has transitioned from being a spectacle merely for existing to a world where scenes must be shot to perfection in order to wow the audience. At the time of its release, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was realistic in the sense that it was on screen and the expectations for that realism were a lot lower.