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Real to ReelA New Approach to Understanding Realism in Film and TV Fiction$
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Martin Sohn-Rethel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780993071768

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993071768.001.0001

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The Genre Code of Realism: the recent development of the alien invasion movie

The Genre Code of Realism: the recent development of the alien invasion movie

(p.99) 5: The Genre Code of Realism: the recent development of the alien invasion movie
Real to Reel

Martin Sohn-Rethel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses the genre code of realism, which brings with it a fundamentally different order of realism. Not one concerned so much with the real social-historical world but one which revolves instead around our expectations of a particular genre. Here the starting point lies within the realm of a fiction genre itself rather than in lived experience of the real world as rendered in the language of scripted fiction. The chapter shows that when words like 'real' and 'realism' are cited for, say, a science-fiction film, what is meant is more directly aligned to expectations of the science-fiction genre than to notions of the real world. It then looks at examples of science fiction, all of which belong to its alien invasion subgenre: District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, 2009), Monsters (Gareth Edwards, 2010), and Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011).

Keywords:   genre realism, realism, fiction genre, scripted fiction, science-fiction film, science-fiction genre, alien invasion, District 9, Monsters, Attack the Block

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