I have a thing for science fiction. I took in 'District 9' this afternoon. I was kind of bored with it at first, and thought about leaving (which I have done maybe 3 times). It had that jumpy quality that 'Blair Witch' and whatever that movie was where the aliens attack New York. I hate that stuff, it makes me want to throw up. But I moved back a few rows (in an otherwise empty theater); and after awhile, the movie became very interesting to me.
Warning: it is rather bloody and in some ways disturbing. But in many ways interesting and thought-provoking.
Meanwhile, let me digress back to the previews. Do you enjoy those? I try to arrive at the theater with enough time to see those. I noticed one preview for something called 'Legion,' in which God--this is what they said, I'm not interpreting this--was so angry at the world that he sent a bunch of angels to exterminate everyone. Another take on the creepy/dark supernatural/"we deserve to be punished" theme that shows up a lot. When does it open? January 22. What do you make of that?
While I was watching that...
...and it doesn't look like something I want to see, because among other things, I absolutely refuse to take part in a movie that depicts angels as villains or enemies of humanity. Sorry--absolutely wrong answer. Maybe it really won't be that way (it's amazing but true: movie makers will present a film, in the previews, in a way very much contrary to what the movie is really about), but that's my reaction based on their own preview.
...anyway, as I was watching that preview, I thought of something I've observed before--and now I'll share with you for your thoughts. Does it seem to you that a fair amount of films and literature is all about how we're gonna get it? We've got it coming and we're really going to be slammed? Put it another way: how often does a futuristic movie depict the future as something sunny and positive, or even something more or less like our world? In the former category, I'd put the whole 'Star Trek' series; they exude a great optimism about the future. In the latter, I'd put the Philip Dick movies, "Total Recall," "Minority Report" and whatever the movie was with Ben Affleck having his memory wiped. Not terrible futures, but not utopian, either.
Then we have the movies in which the future is bleak: Terminator; the new flick about the Mayan calendar, "2012" I think; and the animated movie out right now, called "9." Then there are the environmental apocalypse movies: "Waterworld" and "Day After Tomorrow" (which I think should be a double feature every Earth Day--but few would get the joke). And a lot more.
Is it just me, or does Hollywood have a widespread sense of foreboding? Here's an even more edgy idea: does this reveal something unconsciously at work in our culture? Someone said that if you really want to know what's at work in a culture, don't read it's non-fiction, but it's fiction; because there's something unconscious at work there. (Did Flannery O'Connor say that? I pick these quotes up like barnacles but never remember where I got them, sorry--maybe one of my readers knows?)
Anyway, that's what I thought about during the previews; then came the movie: "District 9.
What are your thoughts about any of this?