Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dystopia in Science Fiction

Since the first movies made their way to the silver screen, such as Georges Melies "A Trip to the Moon", techology has oth built up and destroyed society. Heroes and villains, rich and poor, and men and women have been influenced by and through techology. Computers took over the world in the "Terminator" universe, and humanity achieved the ability to reach "the final frontier" and "boldly go where no one has gone before".

Innovative devices and vehicles have been a boon to our society, but they have also proven to be a detriment. Look at "Hackers" and one can see how technology has opened us up to theft and fraud. Fast forward to more recent events and a film like "Iron-Man", where a self-proclaimed "benevolent" benefactor and maker of mass destruction has an epiphany and decides to use his special suit for good. 

Regarding examples of dystopian stories of technology in film that I want to highlight, I can reference a few of my top sci-fi picks. First, "Planet of the Apes" shows us what happens when technology goes too far and ends up destroying the world (blowing us back to the Stone-Age, so to speak). Second, "Logan's Run" and what happens when those chosen to control the population, by killing you when you reach the age of 30, turn 30? They go on the run (especially if their name is Logan). Finally, in one of cinema's greatest scenes involving Charlton Heston, "Soylent Green" turns out to be people.

In each of these instances, society's affinity with technology ending up causing it's eventual downfall. 

1 comment:

  1. Eric, someone in Twitter earlier this week noted that it is easy to find dystopia in the film media (and you pointed to some of my favorite examples), but tough to find utopia (maybe Close Encounters of the Third Kind?)