Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mars attacks: the pigeon that almost annihilates the human race

Title: Mars attacks
Year: 1996
Director: Tim Burton
Running time: 106 min.
Country: United States

Humans finally met aliens. There was great joy on the human side. Everybody was thinking about how we were not alone in the universe and that we had found new friends. Probably the aliens were also excited.... but thinking of a very different kind of friendship. We prepared a big reception in the Nevada desert. Everything was fine, the alien spacecraft landed, the Martian ambassador went out and the first contact was made.  General Casey started the greatest speech of his entire military career.... "On behalf of the people of Earth, welcome!!"

Lovely...... Everything was fine until we made a mistake: a peaceful-harmless dove was released by a pseudo-hippie. This dove apparently scared the aliens and they shot it down as well as most of the human attendees. In the end, the aliens only wanted an excuse to start a military invasion... exactly like us during many moments of our history.  The analysis of the President of United States is very funny: [...] this could be a cultural misunderstanding. Yeah. Maybe to them, doves mean war. We all saw how they reacted to that dove. It frightened them [...]   It is like in “Lost in Translation” but with evil aliens. The complete scene can be seen here.

Just one technical comment: for recreating the flight and death of the dove a computer-graphic representation was used instead of a real dove. This imagery is of very poor quality because in 1996 the software models were not well developed.

Details of the pigeon starring
  • Source: Mars Attacks. Starring moment: 00:40:04
  • Pigeon activity: It was held in the pacifist's hands, then it flew freely and finally it was shot to death.
  • Symbolism: The dove symbolizes peace. A peace that was not respected by the aliens.
  • Relevance: Very high. It was assumed that the dove triggered a large scale interplanetary war. Even the President of United States complained about this animal.
  • Training level: High. It is a lovely dove that is used to being caught in human hands.

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