Friday, October 25, 2013

Young - Satire in Mars Attacks

Tim Burton's Mars Attacks satirizes many of the institutions of America such as the government and the overtly patriotic military. He uses cliché examples of instances that occur within and surrounding these institutions in order to over exaggerate American's exaltations of these systems. Burton also pokes fun at the typical science fiction movies. Through certain scenes in Burton's work, the viewer can see Burton making fun of the institutions.

There are a couple scenes that satirize Americans' sense of patriotism towards the president and towards the duty of soldiers towards their country. The first is the one in which those high officials that the president consults in the oval office tell the president what he should do. However, the president first asks the press secretary what he should do. This action indicates that the president is not as serious as he seems. Instead, he is concerned with his own image and photo opportunities. Throughout the entire scene, the president assumes the role of acting out the president instead of actually being the president.

The second scene when Billy Glenn Norris, the soldier, says goodbye to his family. The family puts so much emphasis on praising Billy for his patriotism and tells his brother that he should be more like Billy. The family also nearly goes into hysterics when Billy Norris leaves. Here, the family pays way more attention to the soldier and consider him the family hero because he goes off to fight for his country. Finally, Burton satirizes the science fiction movies by exaggerating typical themes that usually occur in science fiction movies. A few of these themes include love in sci-fi.

When the aliens decapitate Nathalie Lake and Professor Donald Kessler, they say that they wish things could have ended differently. However, they were able to be with each other before their deaths. In sci-fi movies, romance is usually an indicator that life will continue. Life in general did continue, but Nathalie and the professor perish together. Because their lives end, Burton makes their situation ironic because the viewer would probably expect for them to live.

Within Burton's Mars Attacks, he parodies the usual institutions that Americans typically tend to pay the most attention to. He also pokes fun at American patriotism. Finally, he exaggerates typical aspects of sci-fi such as the romance. Through the entire movie, he parodies these institutions and sci-fi in his typical, great Tim Burton fashion.

1 comment:

  1. Oliva Turnage :
    Sydney, I agree very much so when you state that the military is overly patriotic. Almost like they tried to make the military so big, and bad but they got shut down four small aliens. When you say that Burton makes fun of science fiction movies, in what scenes does he do so? I like how you point out the over looked fact that the presidents seems as if he is only concerned about his own personal image .instead of worrying about the greater things that should be his concern, such as if these aliens are a threat , are they intruding and are these pictures really even real UFO’S etc.
    When Billy Glenn Norris goes to war you point out the fact almost as Tim Burton makes him seem as the better child. Do you think that Tim Burton did this on purpose? To symbolize his life that he experienced as a child? Reflecting this scene to his own child hood, as he always seems to have at least one scene that reflects back to his life. Also when you talk about romance, why do you think that they say they wish it would have ended differently? What is better than ending their life together?
    Olivia Turnage