Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Ten visions of the future

With The Hunger Games hitting UK cinema screens this week it got me thinking about what types of future we can look forward to. This started as a large list that was hacked down to the ten that you see before you. With The Hunger Games set in a dystopian future after a civil war that destroyed American and gave us Panem started the process of what other futures we could look forward to. So I give you what we maybe looking forward to in the next couple of hundred years.
  1. One world government and all is peaceful
    Let's start off easily with the Star Trek look at the world. Where all is peaceful. There is no war, famine and everyone is equal. This does come from the mind of Gene Rodenberry and his “Wagon Train to the stars” view of the world. Probably the least likely outcome for the future. But then again who knows!
  2. Dystopian
    Probably the best known of the possible futures we can look forward to. Coming from classic films such as Blade Runner and Metropolis. This is where the rich live “the high life” and the rest live in a wasteland of “opportunity and adventure”
  3. Disaster / Post Apocalyptic
    Another good view on the world is the opposite of the Star Wars World. Where we have suffered a catastrophic war or plague that kills off most of life on earth. This gives rise to the scavenger, gun toting, mutants that will kill you for a loaf of bread. More on the lines of The Road where all life is extinct apart from Mankind for some reason or Mad Max II due to war.
  4. Inverse
    Sometimes film-makers decide to throw a curve ball into the mix when it comes to the future and make mankind the underdog due to some strange occurrence in the protagonists future that they were asleep through. Probably the best known has to be Planet Of The Apes where mankind has devolved and Apes have taken the lead.
  5. Technology gone a muck
    A mad computer is always a good start for a film. With WALL-E where earth ended up as a disaster because of mankind's over dumping of waste to The Terminator series where the computers have taken over and trying to kill the remnants of human life going through HAL-9000 in 2001 who is just “confused” over conflicting programming. With this type, mankind normally wins with a judicial input of Deus Ex Machina to tie everything together in the end.
  6. Time Travel
    Yet another good mainstay, along with the disaster sub-genre. Be that going back to stop a murder as in Time Cop. Trying to stop a historic event, even if it is by accident, just to get your parent together in Back to the Future.
  7. Alternative Universe
    Not used as much as other genres but it's still worth a mention. From The Wizard Of Oz to Jet Li's The One. The most recent Star Trek film uses this as a plot point to keep the “old” continuity fit into the rebooted universe and keeping its continuity
  8. Alien Invasion
    Not much can I say about this apart from this is the mainstay of all American 50s Sci-Fi. This is mostly down to the era and the evil treat of communism taking over “the free world” and making it evil and un-godly. This genre has also been parodied in such film as Mars Attacks! to the blockbuster Independence Day.
  9. Biology goes wrong
    Another good mainstay of sci-fi. A lot of the time this is because of a, normally evil, Mega Corporation that is doing some illegal gene-spicing experiments. Not only does this give us the reason for the “Rage Virus” in 28 Days Later and the Umbrella Corporation's T-Virus in Resident Evil.
  10. Ecology
    The most underused sub-genre but when Silent Running came out in 1972 the environmental moment was in its early days. Douglas Trumbull, who did some of the special effects on Bladerunner and 2001 saw what was going on and then interpolated it. This gave us one of the classic sci-fi films of the early 1970s – Who can't forget Huey, Dewey and Louis – his robotic helpers.
The Hunger Games is released March 23, 2012.
www.thehungergames.co.uk ~ www.facebook.com/thehungergamesuk

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