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POST-APOCALYPTIC. By Harry Golding. Narrative conventions of Post apocalyptic films. The normal conventions of a Post-apocalyptic films usually involves a barren/empty landscape filled with dangerous animals and feral humans.

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  1. POST-APOCALYPTIC By Harry Golding

  2. Narrative conventions of Post apocalyptic films • The normal conventions of a Post-apocalyptic films usually involves a barren/empty landscape filled with dangerous animals and feral humans. • The plot tends to be about a lone survivor who appears as a lost and confused character. They will usually stumble upon a group of survivors, who will tend to be living in a type of agrarian societies. The hero will often try to lead them to safety and protect them from dangers of the world. • The enemies in the films tend to be either some sort of alien, undeador human gangs. The all seem to have lost their humanity and are now just focused on their survival at all costs. E.G. the cannibals in the road, the zombies in the dawn of the dead and the huge alien in cloverfield. • http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/post-apocalyptic-movies

  3. Narrative for Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978) • It starts by introducing the audience to what the main danger in the narrative will be, this is shown by a chat show talking about the dangers of the zombie apocalypse. The crew of the show are two of the main characters Stephen and Francine and they are planning on stealing the TV stations helicopter to escape. • It then introduces you to Roger and Peter who are SWAT team members on a mission killing all the zombies in a building. Later that night they all escape in the helicopter. Other that a close call when filling up on petrol their escape goes well. • They decide to set down on a shopping mall, when they get inside they kill all the zombies in the mall and barricade all the openings to make it safe. But as they are doing this Roger is bitten and eventually turns into a zombie, Peter then kills him. • While Stephen is teaching Francine to drive the helicopter a gang of bikers see them and follow them back to the mall, they break in and let all the zombies in. Peter and Stephen have a gun fight with them and Stephen gets shot, while trying to get away he is cornered and bitten by zombies. • The bikers leave, Peter and Francine fight up to the helicopter and escape.

  4. Narrative for The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009) • A man and his young son survive an unspecified disaster they are travelling down south in search of somewhere warmer. Throughout the first part of the film you see lots of flash back scenes of the man with a woman who is pregnant, who is the small boy in the present date of the film. • While on the road a gang of cannibals find them and the dead shots one of them. The two then discover a mansion and in the basement there are lots of prisoners who are a food source for the cannibals. As the cannibals return the Man and his son escape. • Down the road they find an underground shelter with lots of food but when they hear voices they decide to leave. They later encounter a nearly-blind old man on the road. The son persuades his reluctant father to feed him. • They arrive at the coast and the man leaves his son with all their possessions while he explores a deserted ship. The boy falls asleep and they get robbed, they find the thief and take everything of his (included his clothes). • While walking through a town the Dad is shot in a leg by an arrow and in retaliation he kills the man with a flare gun, the mans leg gets infected and he dies, they boy then meets a family who he joins.

  5. Narrative for Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) • The film starts as friends are having a party to celebrate Rob getting a new job, Hud is filming the party, there is gossip going round the party that Beth (a previously platonic friend) and Rob had sex. • When Beth the part leaves an earthquake hits the city and as the partygoers leave the head of the statue of liberty crashes down the street, Hud also gets on camera a huge alien arm destroying a building. • Rob, Hud, Lily and Marlena head down into the subway to try and get to Beth’s apartment where she is stuck. while walking through they get attacked by a swarm of small aliens and Marlena is bitten by one of these. They reach a field hospital where Marlena is taken away because of her bites, she then later dies. • The remainders reach Beth who was impaled by a steel bar and take her to the evacuation site Lily is taken into a helicopter while the other 3 wait for another, the monster destroys it. • The monster then eats Hud, Beth and Rob take cover in central park where they hear air raid sirens then the camera is covered in rubble because of the explosions.

  6. Characters of P-A • In a P-A film there is normally a Heroic male protagonist e.g. the dad out of ‘the road’, but this isn’t always the case e.g. Alice in ‘resident evil’. The protagonist usually tends to be a type of post-modern cowboy who just appears to roll out from the sunset and save the day. • Also in P-A films there always seems to be a feral group of people who try to benefit from others misery e.g. the biker gang in ‘the dawn of the dead’ who break into the mall and let all the zombies in. They will always be an obstacle to the protagonist within the narrative. • The protagonist will also meet a group of survivors trying to make it in this harsh new world. Usually they will be found by the protagonist after being attacked by the feral group of people.

  7. Characters in Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978) • Roger: is typical of Post Apocalyptic film as at the start of the film he is seen as this boss character who is a killing machine. But the more you get into the film you can see that the situation is getting to him and he starts to make dangerous mistakes. E.g. When hot wiring a truck he leaves the door open and zombies nearly get him. • Peter: He is your stereotypical Post Apocalyptic hard man, he knows how to survive, how to kill and almost any other skill needed. He is ruthless and without emotion when he kills the zombies. He keeps All of the characters safe for as long as he can. • Stephen: Is very untrained and is in way over his head with the situation at hand. He is the one who pilots the helicopter, he on several occasions nearly gets the others killed. • Francine: she is often over spoken in the film like in her suggestion to leave the mall. She the voice of reason within the group, with out her the group would fall into disrepair. Left: Francine Mid Left: Stephen Mid Right: Peter Right: Roger

  8. Characters in The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009) • The Man: he is driven to save his son from this barren landscape and take him some place better. He is typical of a Post Apocalyptic film character as he is seen to have hope for a better life. He is quite ruthless in the way he treats other people as he takes everything from a man because he was trying to steal from him. He is almost in some ways the same as the cannibals in the way they are so ruthless. • The kid: he is the polar opposite of his dad he is a weaker character physically and mentally as he is always asking to stop walking and break while the Dad powers on. He is also alot kinder than the Dad as he wants to help the old man and the thief, but this possibly because of his young naivety.

  9. Characters in Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) • Rob: he is driven in the film to find Beth he portrays all the heroic qualities that a post apocalyptic protagonist needs. He risks himself to all the dangers of the city just to save Beth. • Hud: is just a normal guy who is just scared at the situation that he is faced with. This is quite strange as most protagonist characters in post apocalyptic films are super characters who are scared of nothing. • Beth: is a typical survivor character of a Post Apocalyptic film as she is frightened by all the dangers of the situation that she is in. She relies on the stronger characters to get her by. • Marlena: Is not typical for a female survivor character as she keeps her head together when males like Hud are losing theirs. She is also not as physically weak as a stereotypical female Post Apocalyptic character. Beth and Rob Left: Lily Mid Left: Marlena Mid Right: Rob Right

  10. Mise-en-scene • A good film to show the stereotypical mise-en-scene for a PA film is Mad Max because of its desolate landscapes. The road is repetitively shown to show the that there is nothing left even if you followed it. Also the roads and scrub beside resemble a western set but also have nothing in common with it, as westerns show potential land to set up a town or settlement whereas in this film it shows that people have left that area. Another scene in the film it shows the broken sign of the halls of justice building which shows a loss in law and order. • The lighting in PA tends to be dark and shadowy symbolising that the world is now in a bleak state. • A camera technique that is used frequently in PA films is close ups, to show that the characters are in a constant state of danger.

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