Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's up with dystopia?

What is our obsession with a bleak future for humankind? Seriously, can you name any books or movies that depict a beautiful utopia?

Nope, we love ourselves a dark and oppressive dystopia. Books and cinema have a long history of it (1984, Blade Runner, Total Recall, 12 Monkeys, Children of Men et al) but lately a fad seems to be developing.

It started for me with The Hunger Games. I loved it, loved that a young adult fiction novel could deal with teen issues and set it against the downtrodden existence led by the people of Katniss Everdeen's world.

Then this year, Oblivion has been the first in a number of films to be released this year that deal with a dystopian future. And I'm looking forward to all of them!

Out now is After Earth, Will Smith's dad-and-son adventure on a long-abandoned Earth.

World War Z is nearly out - and you can bet I'll be there watching Brad Pitt battle zombies. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continues Katniss' adventures in Panem. Then there's Pacific Rim, a film about giant robots battling sea monsters that I've been anticipating about for a whole year now (seriously, the trailers make me so excited. I just think this idea is SUPER COOL).

Just lately we've seen the trailer for Matt Damon in Elysium, set in a future where the rich live in paradise in space while the poor battle it out in ruined apocalyptic Earth.

And don't forget Ender's Game - another book-to-movie adaptation that's sure to do well.

Why do we love these horrible futures? Who knows. I think it's because we all love seeing heroes triumph over adversity, whatever the setting.

The wikipedia page on dystopian film is a good read, have a look.

I leave you with the latest trailer for Pacific Rim. Just because I think everyone should see it :)

Do you have a favorite dystopia?


  1. I have to admit, these are the kinds of movies I avoid, and only because I find it utterly disturbing to fully realise that there are dumb arses running the world and could reduce us all to radioactive ash with the push of a button. I don't want to consider that possibility any more than I absolutely have to, which is only when I see Tony Abbott on the telly.

    1. You have a very good point there. Living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland would be much less fun that watching someone else do it. But one run by Mr Abbott... *shudder*



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