As we are nearing the year 2015, one film is on everyone’s minds: “Back to the Future II”. In this famous 1985 movie, the protagonist (Marty McFly) travels 30 years into the future. There, he finds a world with numerous technological advancements. One of the most cliche future inventions includes the flying car. Although this movie takes its own twists and turns as the conflict of the plot increases, it exhibits a generally positive view of the future. In the 1980s, the idea of the future highlighted a development of technology for the better. Technology was used to make easy tasks easier and taking out unnecessary steps. In this original view of the future, there was no excess of crime and government corruption (until Marty changes the future, but that’s a different story). When Marty first lands in the future, he finds himself in what was a wide opinion of what 30 years into the future would realistically look like.
Today, when looking at movies that portray the future or at least a futuristic society, there is destruction and dystopia. Currently, there is an influx of book trilogies being made into blockbuster movies. The Hunger Games and Divergent are examples of this popularity. Both trilogies exhibit a futuristic world in which there is a corrupt government and rigid class differences. The protagonist enters the story coming from a lower class family and has to struggle for survival, climbing to the top of the social class structure. This dystopian society is a complete contrast to what we anticipated in Back to the Future.
These movies highlight the potential negative results of increase in technology and government control. How did our views of the future change from the positive outcome of development in technology to a negative, dystopian society? These films take this pessimistic view to an extreme, perhaps as an analysis of current societal structures and government control. One way to look at this change in depiction of the future is that these modern futuristic films are highlighting the negative possibilities so we as a society act against making it a reality while older films look towards the future in a negative light to exemplify what society should strive for.
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