Ocean Exploration In Film: Analyzing The Influence Of Well-Known Films On The American Audience’s Perception Of Undersea Exploration

Tori Lusik


By 2014, America has reached a point where film media is easily accessible and acts as both an entertainment device and a way to relay scientific ideas. Thus, scientists use films to highlight to the American audience the need to study and fund scientific research. However, the lack of pictorial depiction of a specific field of study, such as underwater exploration, may correlate with the level of interest and inclination of the exploration of the subject. Therefore, this study focuses on the analysis of the influence of film on the American audience and the depiction of undersea exploration in The Abyss(1989) as compared to the depiction of outer space exploration in film. Since the beginning of the space race in 1957, depiction of undersea exploration in well-known films is minimal in comparison to the depiction of outer space exploration. Often, outer space exploration is portrayed in a more positive manner by reflecting the premise of the American frontier in its film. Contradictory, undersea exploration is generally portrayed negatively, depicting the image of mankind going into the darkest part of the ocean, often to recover something that was lost. In essence, by using positive pictorial images to spark the American publics’ interest in undersea exploration, the level of exploration could increase and lead to further research into the deep and into a new era of American interest in oceanic exploration.


Film, Undersea Exploration, Outer Space Exploration

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