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Representation of Dystopian Futures in Film

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Representation of Dystopian Futures in Film - 29/12/2013 12:17:32 PM   

Posts: 28
Joined: 28/12/2013
On the subject of The Representation of Dystopian Futures in Film, I've raised a few areas of intrigue that I'd appreciate discussing with anyone who knows even a little about the genre.

To begin: Dystopia - A futuristic imagined universe in which oppressive societal control & the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through either corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral or totalitarian control

The four main films I've analysed are:
- 'A Clockwork Orange', Stanley Kubrick, 1971
- 'Blade Runner', Ridley Scott, 1982
- 'Twelve Monkeys', Terry Gilliam, 1995
- 'V For Vendetta', James McTeigue, 2006
(purposely one in each decade, to track how the genre has developed)

One element I've found interesting is that of control. In each film, the protagonists are forced into circumstances against their will, due to the nature of the genre. I found it interesting that the development of control is in a sense cyclical; given in 'Orange' the government control Alex, in 'Blade' and 'Monkeys' the protagonists are controlled by corporations or outsider groups (scientists in 'Monkeys') and in 'Vendetta' Evie is controlled physically by V, but ultimately by the government. Would you agree or disagree that the genre had undergone a complete cycle, in terms of a common enemy/'villain'?

Another area is how much influence the sci-fi and noir genres have had on the dystopian film genre. Two early examples of 'bridging the gap' could be seen in Weine's 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari' (1920) and Lang's 'Metropolis' (1926). Both works were born during the German Expressionist/French Realist movements, and just before the 'Boom Period' of Film Noir (1930). This influx of darker and grittier films opened the door to more experimental genres such as dystopias and gangster flicks. What I'd love to know is in your opinion(s), which elements of film can be drawn between sci-fi/noir and the dystopian future?

As I continue researching, I'll add to this post with more background and theory.

Thank you for your interest!

< Message edited by Onlythebassist -- 6/1/2014 3:25:20 PM >


'You have my money taped to your tits, technically you do work for me' - Donnie, The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013
Post #: 1
RE: Representation of Dystopian Futures in Film - 9/2/2014 11:25:20 PM   


Posts: 30
Joined: 20/9/2013
A dystopian future happens to be one of my favourite premises, both in books and film.

A perfect example is 'Children of Men'. It's based around a society which has collapsed due to the human race no longer being able to reproduce, and indirectly asks a whole range of questions based on religion, politics and society. It's an utterly genius film

The fact it is directly astonishingly well by Alfonso Cuarón is an added bonus.

Check it out, and obviously read 1984 if you haven't already. And watch THX 1138, one of only two good films George lucas ever directed. Also it could be argued The Road is dystopian, even though there is no longer rule.

Keep up the study, it's a fascinating subject.

(in reply to Onlythebassist)
Post #: 2
RE: Representation of Dystopian Futures in Film - 12/2/2014 8:13:30 PM   

Posts: 28
Joined: 28/12/2013
Thanks, I sure will! For anyone who is up for some reading, I'm currently halfway through 'Scraps of the Untainted Sky' by Tom Moylan and it literally breaks open all barriers you have about sci-fi, utopian and dystopian narrative. Really interesting stuff and gave me a new favourite word (didactic - intending to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive). Lots of context around the development of the genre, with influences from capitalism, liberalism, feminism, communism and many more -isms. But I digress..

'Children of Men' is definitely on my to-watch list, Cuarón is a fantastic director.

I've also sent an optimistic letter to Malcolm McDowell, but doubt I'll get a response (if any) this side of 2014. Ah well, such is life.


'You have my money taped to your tits, technically you do work for me' - Donnie, The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013

(in reply to Jonezy123)
Post #: 3
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