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Dystopian Nightmare Landscapes

  • #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 46,989 mod Black Swan

    We find such landscapes in science fiction, art, futuristic TV series episode backgrounds, and apocalyptic themed films, where the physical and cultural geography contributes to the scenes, plots, and narratives.

    Soon to be released films "After Earth" casts ahead 1,000 years to a planet where humans are no longer the dominant species, while the action hero of “World War Z” deals with a zombie pandemic. Variations on these themes have been occurring for decades in film, making you wonder if their Sci Fi and horror authors are trying to tell us something (or just raking in the box office profits for entertainment)?

    Rather than use virtual or alternative reality landscapes, some dystopian art themes have captured vast differences in real world settlement patterns, including the stark contrast of modern high rise building cityscapes and the nearby shanties of homeless people, "exploring the dichotomy of the haves and have-nots."

    What do dystopian landscapes say to you? Contemporary contrasts? Alternative realities? Futuristic predictions? Or just a fun play with geography?


  • Great fun but not realistic. I saw the movie 'Oblivion' a while back which had just such a landscape - but completely unrealistic, showing the empire state building encased in rock strata. And a shattered moon hanging in the night sky - highly unlikely that the remnants of the moon would be holding their exact positions in space as surely gravity would eventually force them back together?

    Visually it was very arresting. I'm assuming it was filmed in Iceland or Lanzerote.

    I read a book a few years ago called 'The World without us' based on similar themes but rooted in real science.

  • Fun mostly indeed. Then again I sometimes reflect on Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" film (1982) cast against a postmodern dystopian Los Angeles cityscape, and wonder if it's just another version of cinema escapism, or a bit of prediction contained within the science fiction?