The “Future” of Film


Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Sydney Rogalsky, Arts & Entertainment Editor

“The Hunger Games,” “World War Z,” “Looper.” All these movies are part of the ever-growing trend of dystopian films. They show us a future wherein the conditions of living are not ideal—such as an annual fight to the death amongst children, zombies taking over, or a time-traveling mafia. Why have these films suddenly become so popular? What’s the message they’re trying to send?

When looking at these futuristic movies, the viewer has to realize that they’re not just there for entertainment but to, often, serve as a warning. “This is where we are headed if we don’t stop what we’re doing,” they tell the audience.

“The Hunger Games” is a commentary on society’s fascination with reality television, and the pain and suffering of others— let’s say, “Jersey Shore” mixed with “Survivor.” It holds a mirror to mankind and poses the question: How far are human beings willing to go for entertainment?

“World War Z” shows us a world overridden by zombies. While it’s never explicitly stated in the film where the virus originated, the novel it was adapted from does state that it began in China, with isolated outbreaks slowly making their way to the rest of the world. But what real warning does this send us? True, a zombie apocalypse may not be very likely. The film and book, however, do warn against nuclear warfare in that many countries attacked each other in an attempt to eradicate the outbreaks. Also, it warns against a lack of preparation for mass hysteria—the United States nearly fell because of a lack of organization and preparation as well as false vaccinations being sold on the black market.

“Looper,” well. There’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” message warning against society’s obsession with money and willingness to do anything for it but, let’s be honest, with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in one movie, we were all too busy drooling to really pay attention.

There are, of course, other amazing dystopians such as “In Time” showing the human race’s obsession with living for the sake of being alive for as long as possible rather than for the sake of making use of the time afforded. Another amazing film is “Elysium”—which is actually still in theaters—whose message is that “the material inequality that pervades our world today is an outrage,” Neill Blomkamp, the film’s director, said.

Two amazing upcoming dystopian films are “The Maze Runner” and “Divergent.” “Maze Runner” gives a look into the consequences of biological warfare, while “Divergent” shows a government so corrupt its own leaders wipe their memories and throw themselves into the fray.

The point is, dystopian films are meant to entertain us, but they’re meant for more than that as well. They serve to point out flaws in our society to show mankind that if they notice our wrongs, and fix them now, they can avoid devastating consequences in the future.