Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dystopian Movies - A Little Help From My Friends

For today's post I am sharing the blogging love with some great reviews of classic dystopian films.


First let me point you towards Stevee at Cinematic Paradox who writes about watching Battle Royale for the first time. Being a teenager myself when I first saw this movie I guess I was the target audience, or at least I would have been if I was Japanese, and I absolutely loved it. I didn't really consider the science fiction/dystopia element just accepted that perhaps this could happen and with the growing gulf in understanding between one generation and the next in Japan it might be soon.
As far as dystopian visions go this is a plausible Societal change and serves to create a powerful statement whilst at the same time working as fantastic entertainment.



Next up is The Void who will take you on a journey to La Jetee, the brilliant short film from Chris Marker that is comprised of a selection of still photographs and a voice over. You may or may not know but this short heavily influenced David Peoples when he wrote Twelve Monkeys for Terry Gilliam. The first time I watched this film I didn't realise it had been the basis for Twelve Monkeys and the whole way through I was noting how similar it was, right down to camera placement and mise-en-scene, not just story. After a little research and putting my mind to rest I watched it again without having to think about Twelve Monkeys. A incredibly powerful piece of cinema that creates a mood like no other movie can, Marker gives us a post-apocalyptic dystopia.



The incredibly talented Alex over at Film Forager spends some time with everyone's favourite gun enthusiast Charlton Heston with her take on Soylent Green - beware spoilers for those of you who don't know what Soylent Green is yet. I think it's all good fun for early 70s science fiction, my favourite part, being the noir fan that I am, is the performance of Edward G. Robinson and the brilliant riot scene. Another movie that ends with Heston screaming too. A fine example of a Corporate dystopia thanks to the evil company that seems to run the show in the world of Soylent Green. Based on the novel Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison, this is a book I can't wait to find.


Got any links you want to share? Drop them in the blahs and I'll add you to the post.


17 comments:

  1. I still haven't watched Battle Royale or read the book

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    1. I've bought the book but i'm not sure i'm going to read it. When i think about it i feel like the movie was so good it doesn't need the book.

      Maybe thats my excuse as the book is 500 pages long?

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    2. I've had the book for years upon years on my shelf, still haven't read it. I am a massive fan of the comic run for it, that was so well done.

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    3. See, who needs the source material this time? It must be a very visual story to have worked so well in two other mediums.

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  2. Hey, thanks for the linkage! Good picks too, I dig all three of these films, especially BATTLE ROYALE.

    And I figured everyone already knows what SOYLENT GREEN is! Didn't mean to be spoilery haha, I'd just heard it referenced so many times before I even saw the film.

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    1. Incredibly i must have been one of the few people not to have heard about it when i saw it for the first time. Thought i'd mention it just incase theres anyone as sheltered as me out there!

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  3. Nice list. It has been a while since I have watched Soylent Green but those last few scenes are still fresh in my memory.

    Stevvee has an opinion and that's great. It's just wrong in this case. I saw Battle Royale when I was in high school and I loved it. The final moments with Chiaki Kuriyama were magic. I remember how giddy I felt when I stepped out of the cinema.

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    1. I'm not surprised at your stance on this Jason, it's one I share, but I like the approach that Stevee takes towards it. Afterall she is the target audience for Hunger Games.

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  4. Great post! But I haven't seen any of these films. Bummer. More watching to do...

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    1. Josh you seem to have spent too long watching classic movies! Although to be fair I think all three of these films can count as classics of the genre at the very least.

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    2. Haha. I watch about the same amount of classics as I do modern films, but I definitely need to get to these.

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  5. Replies
    1. But of course, you have a great take on it.

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  6. Battle Royale is AWESOME! I love it (only watched it first time this year).
    La Jetee is just fantastic too. It's one of my favourite shorts.
    Great post!

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    1. Chris Marker was a fantastically creative photographer, it's good to see so much love for his film, especially the recent inclusion in the Sight and Sound poll.

      I guarantee you'll be watching Battle Royale multiple times too.

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  7. Thanks for the link! Battle Royale is pretty awesome - which is strange for me to say, since I sit right in the target audience for The Hunger Games and I saw that one first, but Battle Royale came out on top.

    Must check out the other two - and I'm loving this dystopian feature! Really great genre which I enjoy a lot.

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    1. Of course you are most welcome to the link. I enjoyed your take on it.

      If I can get some people reading I think this feature will be an even bigger success than it has been already!

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