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District 9 Essay

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How are the four elements of film style (cinematography, sound, mise-en-scene, editing) used in the film to create realism.

District 9 is a science fiction documentary style film directed by Neill Blomkamp in 2009, set in present time in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 uses stylistic techniques such as cinematography, sound, mise-en-scene and editing to make us, the audience, believe that the alien invasion redundant is truly happening in our world today. District 9 also uses strong documentary techniques to reel the audience in even further and to capture the audience’s attention in a very different style of science fiction never before seen in Hollywood. All of these techniques, along with how they are used to create realism,
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Honestly, the reason behind this change is not apparent to the audience, if anything, all it does is remind us that this is a fictional film and bursts that “real footage” bubble that we have been locked inside for so far. Why did the filmmaker choose to do this?

The sound in District 9 is used to help the audience relate strongly with the techniques already discussed. The film uses a lot of Diegetic sound and very little non Diegetic sound. The only Non-Diegetic sound they use is a quiet, soft African type song in the opening of the film, which sometimes returns during certain scenes involving the humans caught up in the middle of the invasion. The African song sets the scene of where the film is taking place. Is that all? The second use of Non-Diegetic sound is music commonly used in ‘end of the world’ type Science Fiction films to build suspense and to further capture the audience’s attention. All the other sounds are Diegetic, and a lot of the sounds that would usually be cut out of films, such as non relevant background noises in the offices (paper shuffling etc) are retained. Again, this is used to help build on the documentary theme they want to depict and also to help create realism.

The mise-en-scene in District 9 also helps to create realism, and strangely enough there is something even very ‘real’ about these aliens in District 9. They are almost like giant ants and the way they function and
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