What is a dystopian society? Where Utopian describes a civilization that's conceived to be perfect, a dystopian is the exact opposite where you have a futuristic society or state where everything is bad- They're usually characterised by totalitarian governments, civilization after environmental disasters or other events that have lead to a dramatic decline in society.
Dystopian societies appear in many subgenres of science fiction that are often used to draw attention to potential, as well as real-world trends and issues within modern civilization. So today I thought I would make a video focusing on sci-fi dystopian societies.
Dark City 1998
Director Alex Proyas mystery thriller - John Murdoch, a man who’s struggling with memories of his past -wakes in a strange hotel within an even stranger city that has no sun. After it becomes clear that some people with special powers are after him, while on the run Murdoch tries to piece together his past and figure out exactly what's going on.
With fantastic cinematography, special effects, top-notch performances and an interesting gothic noir style - Dark City has breakneck pacing which keeps you engaged throughout the film. It's a movie that makes you think a lot, where you will most likely watch this over and over again to figure everything out.
While this movie never gets old, and I highly recommend it, its bleak dark tones and fast pace, might put some people off.
Director Pete travis’s action drama - Within the post-apocalyptic metropolis of Mega City 1 -the police known as Judges have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner. While assigned to evaluate a psychic rookie -veteran Judge Dredd and his cadet get trapped in a building complex-where the only way out -is to take down the MaMa Clan.
Unlike its 1995 older brother, Dredd is closely based on the 2000AD comic. Where Karl Urban is the perfect Dredd, without the cheesy back story -he's portrayed more like Clint Eastwood's 'man with no name' whose dialogue is limited to one-liners. He has no personal arc, character development or sense of humour, he doesn't take his helmet off, he just kicks ass - and Judge
Anderson is cool too. I love this movie, I think it's highly underrated, so if you haven't seen it, please go check it out.
Director Francois Truffaut's Drama - In an oppressive future, where books have been outlawed by the government fearing an independent-thinking population. Guy Montag is a fireman, whose
duty is not to put fires out- but to destroy all books by incinerating them. But things begin to change for Montag when he starts to question his occupation.
Based on the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Fahrenheit 451 is a fairly unusual film right from the start, where its credits are read out instead of been written. While the main character Montag feels a little zombie like- the movie is still entertaining it its own strange way.
While in my opinion it's never going to be a movie for repeated viewings, it's still worth a watch and ideal for people who want to watch something a bit different.
Battle Royale 2000
Fukasaku Kinji's adventure drama- In the near future- Japan is in a state of near collapse. Where violence among the nation's youth is spiralling out of control. With teenagers physically abusing their teachers, a near-defeated government decides to introduce a radical new measure: the Battle Royale Act.
This is definitely a love hate movie where it's extremely violent and has a pretty over the top plot. This movie subtly comments on several subconscious issues within modern japans culture. Where Japan is obsessed with its youth- which helps explains why animes protagonists are most often 15 year old high school students.
In the end, Battle Royale is not a film for just anyone. There will be some of you that really hate it and I can't really blame you for that, but then again some of you will definitely love it.
Soylent Green 1973
Richard Fleischer’s Crime mystery - In a world ravaged by overpopulation and the greenhouse effect. As natural food like vegetables and meat have almost become extinct, the only way humanity can survive is with water rations and a mysterious food called Soylent. The story kicks off when an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.
Soylent Green is a classic film that's really solid but not without its faults- like the strong feeling of it been set in the 1970s rather than in the future. The acting in this movie is first rate, where the interplay between Heston and Robinson is thoroughlyentertaining, especially in the scene when they're eating real food.
Soylent Greens story is really interesting throughout and carries the film all the way to a great conclusion - it's a smart sci-fi that is well worth your time.
THX 1138 - 1971
George Lucas - debut feature film Set in the 25th century, the human race has been relocated to a underground city located beneath the Earth's surface, where a robotic police force enforces the law using drugs to control its population. The story follows THX and LUH who rebel against their rigidly controlled society.
THX 1138 is a solid, well-made film, produced on a low budget. With a very clear moral story there's not much here as far as characters But Robert Duvall gives a good performance. It has an interesting take on an Orwellian future, and has a pretty extreme use of white in it set design. It holds your attention fairly well, but a warning to those of you who don't like slow paced movies, this film story unfolds at a snail's pace.
Director Kurt Wimmers action drama –At the end of WW3 - a strict regime has eliminated war by creating Prozium, a drug that suppress emotion. However this means that feeling is a crime, a crime that is punishable by death. When Cleric John Preston a man in charge of enforcing the law,
misses a dose of Prozium, he slowly starts to see things from a very different perspective.
For a film with a 20 million dollar budge, Equilibrium looks and feels great with cool gun scenes-
combined with its minimalistic costumes and sets. Christian Bale's performance as John Preston is brilliant,where he's both emotionally engaging and believable.
Equilibrium is an unfairly underrated film, while it clearly borrows from the earlier mentioned classics such as Fahrenheit 451 and THX 1138 it does however standout on its own, mostly due to Bales character's emotional conflict - and its, well-choreographed action scenes.
Joss Whedon's Action adventure - Set in a universe ruled by the alliance - a regime hell bent on bringing its vision of a totalitarian utopia to fruition. The story follows the crew of the smuggler star ship Serenity –who are harbouring River a highly sought after fugitive wanted by the alliance, who has a deadly secret that they don't want getting out.
Who said all dystopias couldn't be fun - the follow up to the cancelled Tv show firefly. Serenity has no problems as a standalone film, it's filled with Joss Whedon's witty dialogue and one liners, as well as having some pretty cool space battle and fight scenes, combined with a well paced and
The entire cast were born to play their roles where they have brilliant chemistry. And Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as the bad guy assassin is hard to forget.