Future scenarios in western cinematograph

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I suppose, it is a secret for nobody, that any kind of art one way or another reflects the worldview of the creator, her attitude to the world, and it will definitely won’t be an opening to say, that the worldview of this creator is being formed under the influence of that cultural environment, in which she has been born, grown and become the way she is.

The movie is also a type of art, a creative work, even though the Hollywood is trying to turn it into the industry, that’s why the said above can be easily categorized to it. The art, in its turn, is not only the means of self-expression, but also the former of world perception of a person. The art can elevate a person: allot her with heavenly thoughts, spirituality, the willing to serve the people, to live in a harmony with the world. It also can relegate a person to the level of an animal, moved by survival and reproductive instincts.

That is why it is highly important to pay attention to those images, a thought forms, meanings, which the modern art presents us from plasma TV screens, monitors, and cinema screens. The significant part of this market is filled with the products of western production, that’s why one can easily confirm, that the western “film industry” has a serious influence on minds of people from all over the world.

 “Cultural superiority is an underestimated aspect of an American global power. Whatever some people think of their aesthetic values, the American mass culture radiates a magnetic attraction, especially for youth all over the world. Its attractiveness, probably, traces its roots in hedonistic quality of life, which it preaches, but its attractiveness in the whole world is incontestable. American TV programs and movies place almost three thirds of the world market. American popular music also occupies a dominant position, and Americans’ interests, food habits and even ways of dress are more and more being imitated in the whole world”. Zbigniew Brzeziński “The Grand Chessboard”

Than why all these reasonings?! Now that a significant part of the cinematographic art world belongs to the West, one would like to form some understanding about this culture, about which images it inspires in their creators, about where it is trying to pave the way for the whole humanity.

One of the images, which are actively debated over in western cinematograph, is the image of future of humanity. Not less interesting are the ways of exit from those global problems, which the humanity might face in the near future.

So, what are the scenarios of future, which the Hollywood dream factory and the western cinematograph in general offer:

  1. An apocalypses in various forms:
  • A cosmic origin event (fall of meteorite);
  • A catastrophe of anthropogenic or natural character (atomic explosion or natural cataclysm: an earthquake, magnetic pole displacement, the Flood etc.); that made a biosphere of our planet inadequate for a normal life.
  • A biological catastrophe – a virus contamination of people, as a result of which they are simply die or turn into zombies, vampires and other evil spirits.
  1. An alien expansion.
  2. The threat – are the people.

Further these scenarios are going to be examined more detailed, with an analysis of the brightest movie pictures of a corresponding genre.

An apocalypses in various forms

A cosmic origin event

The first point of this scenario, having become a skeleton not for the one western blockbuster, acts, of course, some threat from the space that will erase all living from the Earth’s surface: a fall of meteorite, a fade of the Sun, some space storm.

Perhaps, one of the brightest examples in the given class is a movie with a talking name “Armageddon”, which narrates about a huge meteorite approaching to Earth. The fall of the meteorite will destroy everything on Earth. An American space agency NASA on an urgent basis forms a team, which will go to the meteorite, place a bomb and explode it in such a way, that pieces will fly past the Earth. Naturally, in the final the happy end awaits us.

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The USA and their space agency NASA managed to prevent a catastrophe and the death of the whole humanity, even though we know perfectly well, that no space program in the world now is not being performed single-handedly, and even such countries, as Russia, USA and China have to cooperate with the aim of space exploration. But we, inhabitants, have been put into the heads a slightly different scenario: in case of a threat of a meteorite fall the USA will save the humanity, that’s why exactly the USA should become a leading nation on Earth, namely them are worth a top of unipolar world.

And the main thing is that many Americans truly believe in it, enough to remember the president’s Barak Obama speech to the nation on the subject of Syria, where he directly claims about “the unique American nation”, about a special status of America. It is also the sad thing that not only Americans think so, but people from different nationalities as well, on whom, as it seems, the American culture has a strong influence.

In this direction of movies there is one more branch of scenarios, on which it is worth paying attention: the films, where the date of the world’s end is known and the apocalypse is inevitable. These movie pictures are notable by the fact that they show to an audience not the end of the world itself, but the way people behave, knowing the apocalypse has already knocked on the door. Which modes of behavior are offered to people on the eve of their death?!

In the movie “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” people “go to the bad”, finally are losing their human face, sinking into alcohol, drugs, depravity, satisfying their animal madness. Obviously, on the background of an inevitable death, all these flaws are starting to acquire the nature of the only one values of a worthless human life. And the advertisers, of course, could not miss the opportunity to take advantage of such profitable atmosphere for promotion of their products: are the cigarettes “Don Ramon” really the strongest?!

The family image in this movie is smashed utterly: parents and children are yelling at each other, one of the ladies at one of the parties announces that she wants to visit her step-father and wish him to die; children are being accustomed to alcohol from the young age, apparently, wanting to show them “real” life pleasures.

A foray, anarchy, chaos are flourishing all round. Now, on the edge of death, a human’s life has stopped to value anything at all.

In the movie “Last Day on Earth” the picture is pretty much the same: main heroes lie in an alcoholic delirium, sink into the depravity and between this and then are trying to realize, why all this is happening to them, with the humanity. Somebody runs mad, somebody suicides, somebody does robbery and foray. There aren’t also images of orderly families, where people are getting closer in such a moment to enjoy every minute spend together. Only the mass psychosis, madness, aspiration to fully satisfy all wishes before the death.

A catastrophe of anthropogenic or natural character

The second scenario in this branch is a nuclear catastrophe (war), or simply numerous of wars, or natural cataclysm including due to a vast planet’s pollution, and, as consequence, the appearance of a new post-apocalyptic world. This plot is highly popular in the Hollywood: “Waterworld” (1995), “The Road” (2009), “The Book of Eli” (2009), “The Rover” (2014), “Interstellar” (2015), “These Final Hours” (2013), “After Earth” (2013), “Snowpiercer” (2013), “Mad Max” (all parts), “City of Ember” (2008), “The Postman” (1997), “The Day After Tomorrow” (2004), “Equilibrium” (2002), “The Matrix” (all three parts), “The Giver” (2014).

A biological catastrophe

The next scenario – is a biological catastrophe. On this subject has been filmed many movies: Resident Evil (all parts), World War Z (2013), I Am Legend (2007), 28 Days Later (2002), 28 Weeks Later (2007), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Walking Dead (TV series, 2010), The Strain (TV series, 2014), Helix (TV series, 2014).

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For all scenarios of the given type is characteristically that the total epidemic starts, as a rule, due to some secret experiment, held by secret laboratories. These laboratories either under the control of the government, or which is a very important moment, belong to powerful private corporations! How have authorities and national security environment of the given government, who are aimed at, on the first place, providing safety of their citizens, allowed that such experiments have been carried out by a private company, remain under wraps. For example, in the movie Resident Evil a big private corporation Umbrella carries out its biological experiments on a population of the whole world, and even when the world plunges into turmoil, the Umbrella continues its inhuman trials for creation of a perfect biological weapon. Absolutely unpunished!

There is another film, which falls out from scenarios of apocalyptic literature, but with the same specialty of a plot: a big corporation that absolutely unpunished carries out secret experiments on people, creates new weapons system etc. Upon those experiments, as a rule, go out of control, as a result different supervillains appear whom one single superhero must defeat. Of course, we are talking about a spider-man. He fights with villains, defeats them, at that losing the sight of more terrible evil – the corporation.

The corporation unpunishment – is a one common trait of such kind of films.

This variant of a scenario is going to be looked at more closely a little bit later in a chapter “The threat – are the people”.

An alien expansion

Further the threat of a death, or enslavement us as a civilization comes from the space. An alien race is trying to capture the Earth, destroying the humanity. Or, as it has been in the World War Z with Tom Cruise starring, the humanity plays the role of a harvest and on time X will begins the harvest time.

Besides, I would like to make a short digression on a subject of Tom Cruise starring in such movies – he has filmed in at least three pictures with the similar scenario: War of the Worlds (2005), Oblivion (2013), Edge of Tomorrow (2014).

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More films with the similar plot line: Starship Troopers (1997), Independence Day (1996), Battle: Los Angeles (2011), District 9 (2009), Skyline (2010), Battleship (2012), They Live (1988), Alien (all parts), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1955), The Faculty (1998).

Ask one: which ways of thinking form such scenarios?! Space is unfriendly to us. An intelligent extraterrestrial life is, probably, hostile. This is an obvious attempt to create another threat in the face of humanity. It seems that terrorism is not enough. The more serious enemy is needed, more scale, in front of which the whole humanity, aghast, will join in a single outburst to save their home. And elites with a silent agreement of a crowd will start creating a new superweapon against any space threat, enriching in doing so private military corporations and their pockets.

The threat – are the people

Another scenario, which is actively being popularized by the Hollywood, – is an overpopulation of the planet. And this is a wake-up call. Often the problem of overpopulation, lack of availability of resources becomes gleaming in TV series as well. From the latest: Under The Dome (2013, 2nd season), Utopia (2013).

The essence of this plot is being resulted to the “Golden Billion” theory. According to these theory, the population of Earth grows very fast (there are already more than 7 billion of us), the planet physically is unable to provide such amount of natural resources, food, even air, at that the amount of people continues to grow, and the level of consumption too. A part of globalisers see the way out in a reduction of humans’ population. In doing so, by their calculations for a comfortable living on Earth the natural resources will be enough only for a one billion people, namely this billion “has a right” within 100-150 years to stay of Earth. In this “Golden Billion” entered the population of USA, Canada, Western Europe, Israel and Japan. And, for example, according to Margaret Thatcher: “On Russia’s territory is would be economically viable to leave 15 million people”.

How the population is planned to be downsized? Generally, this is the subject of a separate article, but one can learn something from the listed above TV series, and also from announces of some central figures.

As, for example, in the series “Under The Dome” a group of people found themselves cut from the rest of the world by the invisible dome, which does not break through even the nuclear weapon. People exist in the conditions of a severe shortage of food, necessary resources: electricity, gas, water. In the second season a new character appears – a teacher Rebecca Pine. She explains to Big Jim that people will soon eat each other from the shortage of food, and the population needs to be urgently downsized.

To realize this plan, the teacher offers to detach a virus strain, from which die pigs in a town Chester’s Mill (all-familiar pig influenza), to modify it a little and poison the water. To make it all fair, all inhabitants of the territory under the dome will drink this poisoned water, and let the virus decide, who is worth to live, and who should die. In the end, Rebecca and Jim hesitate from this step; besides, out of nowhere appear additional food supplies…

Also is notable in this series that another way is being offered. Julia and Barbie (Dale Barbara) offer it. The essence is that all people of Chester’s Mill should voluntary give away all their food supplies to the warehouse, and these left products will fractionally, with the maximum economy be distributed to the people. But the warehouse is being burnt with the aim of race for power and control over the people. The one, who manages provisions, by essence, controls the people. In the first season Big Jim fought for power the same way: he’d wanted to establish control over water holes and also over gas leftovers. In other words, we are being explained that it is impossible to solve the problem in such a way, and only by a twist of fate (new food supplies appearance) we are able to survive.

Another interesting series “Utopia” is completely devoted to the subject of planet’s overpopulation. In the “Utopia” we are being told about some virus, developed by a scientist named Philip Carvel. The virus called “Two-faced Janus” will make germproof 95% of the planet’s population, only one individual out of twenty will be able to procreate. Some secret organization, at the head of which stands Mr. Rabbit, is planning on try the virus, firstly, on British population, and then on the rest of the world. According to their forecasts, in a hundred years the population of Earth should be downsized to 500 million people, then a normal pace of birth rate should be restored. The “Two-faced Janus” will be implemented through the vaccines of Russian flu, another way of implementation – is through the food.

This series is interesting by the fact that it offers a rather convincing argumentation of such manner for the whole humanity. Here are some examples:

In the end one of the heroes of Utopia Wilson even comes over the side of the given organization, and this is in spite of the fact, that they killed his father, and tortured him, after which he lost one eye. He does not look like an idiot, however, agrees with arguments of “saviors the humanity”. And, what is important, agrees with their methods!!! Wilson sinks in this theory so selflessly, that kills a brother of his friend, Ian Johnson, with whom he stood against the spread of the “Two-faced Janus”, and then gets into the chair of Mr. Rabbit. A scientist Philip Carvel wired in the virus a certain system of identification of an individual. Therefore, the virus affects not all people. Wilson, learning about that, slightly transforms the plan of a humanity rescue. Now his organization will held small epidemics in remote regions of Earth, and on territories more or less hermetic from the rest of the humanity, and under the threat of a dangerous disease vaccinate people.

In the series “Helix” there is some kind of a clan of people with silver eyes, consisting of 500 people, which develops a special virus named Narvik in Arctic. The virus is being created with benevolent intentions: to defeat some untreatable diseases. However, in practice, the corporation Ilaria seeks, as it seems, other goals. So, the scientists, working for this company, create two versions of the virus Narvik: Narvik-A, which infects and then kills its bearers, and Narvik-B, which transforms its bearer into zombie, striving to spread the virus. These zombies do not touch the people with silver eyes, keep away from them, and, it is obvious, that uncontrolled spread of the virus on arctic base was not so spontaneous, but rather thoroughly planned.

The first season of the series ends up with that in Puerto Rico in a town Lares outbreaks the epidemic of an unknown disease, which looks very much alike Narvik-A. The main hero, Dr. Alan Faraggut, explains that this is – a “trial run”, and the town Lares in Puerto Rico has been chosen, because it is ideal from the point of view of virus’s trial in town conditions.

A special interest has the final of the first season itself: the one, who fought with the virus Narvik, stood in line with the fighters of the criminal corporation, and from whom this corporation stole the childhood and “conserve” in a container a birth mother, as a result joins the Ilaria, and forms a part of its council. Does not this remind you Wilson from the Utopia?!

The idea of launching the total virus, which will put the humanity on the edge of extinction, is not that new. One of the pioneers of this scenario is the project “Resident Evil”, which at first existed as a game, and then appeared on the cinema screens. At the moment already six parts of this picture have been released. One of the main slogans of the film: “Fatal flaw”. A big and all-powerful corporation “Umbrella” screws up, and, as appears further, does it deliberately, so – this is not a mistake at all, but a goal-seeking experiment on the whole humanity of the planet. But this fact is of little interest for the heads of the corporation, and only the perspective of creation an ideal weapon, which is Alice (Milla Jovovich), remains important. Alice, as in the case of Spider-man, fights not with the corporation, which is the pure evil in the given case, but with monsters, created by the “Umbrella’ for the trial of their ideal weapon.

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Drawing a line under the touched upon question, I would like to mention, that in all listed series and pictures there is some group of people, who could be called the chosen. They are very bothered with the problem of overpopulation, but at the same time they are not going to master its number as a group and their appetites, which is not insignificant. Their goal – to downsize the population, or at least to learn how to manage the human capital so that their own consumption would stay at the same level. It is notable how on this background look claims of some central figure about vaccination:  

In light of such claims, one can agree that all above listed series and films acquire a completely different tint and don’t look so utopian. Bill Gates and the likeminded are trying to justify their actions by any ways, and the most horrible – to convince us in them.  The beginnings of the same theory about the planet’s overpopulation are rooted in views of Thomas Robert Malthus (1766—1834) – an English priest and scientist, demographer and economist, who claimed that an uncontrolled growth of population should lead to a mass famine on Earth.

However, there is another opinion about the planet’s overpopulation, according to which on Earth can live even 25 billion of people, but only in case of a competent usage of resources, significant expenses of production powers on a biosphere support in a due condition, on its recovery, where needed. People should be joined together, cooperate for these problems-solving, and not sinking in internal factions fighting for a living space.

What is the way out of the current situation? It is obvious that we need a different approach to build our society, to organize our life, our culture-informational content.

Post-apocalyptic world

Now we are getting to the most living question of western art of motion pictures on a theme of future, namely to the question of how will the future post-apocalyptic world look like. Western cinematograph offers many pictures on a subject of the apocalypses, which show us not the cataclysm itself, having led to a destruction of a habitual world order, in essence, to extinction of our civilization, but telling us about the survived people, of the new world organization after the catastrophe of a global scale, and namely this image has the most interest. Let us remind you, this image has been formed based on western culture, western worldview and attitude towards life:

  1. In the world of post-apocalypses people are not doing any workmanship. At all! All they do: they wander around the world and collect everything that left from the antecedent of humanity, – this concerns food, weapon, clothing, domestic and farm utensils and energy products (The Book Of Eli (2009), Waterworld (1995), The Rover (2013), The Road (2009).
  2. In the future world there is no order, prevails chaos and anarchy. Normal people don’t try to organize some joint life, even with the aim of providing safety. Criminal gangs, in their turn, are well-organized and successfully kill and rob the rest (The Book Of Eli (2009), Waterworld (1995), The Rover (2013), The Road (2009), Mad Max (all parts), The Postman (1997).
  3. If the humanity of the new world succeeds in some organization, this is a necessarily totalitarian society with all resulting from it injustice towards the individual, its development and self-realization (Equilibrium (2002), The Giver (2014), The Maze Runner (2014), The Postman (1997).  

Such plots are trying to form the following mode of thinking: the existing life system, in spite of all its breaches of justice, connected with crowd-elitarism, inequality of people, is still the most appropriate to a human. If destroy the given model of society, the humanity will submerge into chaos and anarchy, where will be no order any more, where the strong will be even stronger and exploit the week, where the law of the jungle will rule, where the main goal of existence will be only surviving and fighting. We are being tried to explain that without the existing system we will turn into a herd of wild animals, which for the sake of procurement will eat each other without any attempts to self-organize, agree, fix the way of life and work together for the sake of peace.

Do you really think that a global catastrophe won’t make people become different? Could it be true that even after the apocalypses people don’t realize that the main reasons of a tragedy of our civilization were rage, egoism, pursuance of wealth accumulation, of unchallenged political power? Indeed people are unable to learn, to conclude? According to western representatives of cinematographic art – apparently, not.

“Tomorrowland” (2015)

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This film differentiates oneself from other pictures on a subject of future. Firstly, it considers another scenario of development, when the future appears in totally different light: people have not died as a result of an apocalypse, the life has not disappeared due to wars and epidemics, there is no overpopulation problem, people have learned to overcome long space distances, have won earth’s gravitation, and have created a high-tech way of life. Secondly, in the film we get some answers on why the subject of the world’s end descended on our heads:

Notable, that all these ideas in the film are being descended on our heads with the help of a special control unit, which looks like that:

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We won’t make comparisons – it is up to you to decide, what it looks like. With the help of a control unit one may see any part of the Earth in the now, past and future. However, the unit will still be destroyed, since people concluded, that a constant transmission of an apocalypses PROGRAMMS this very apocalypses – this is about the role of mass-media and all sorts of predictions, about their influence on our life. The destruction of the control unit may fully witness of a change of course of western managerial elites, a change of the bible script of developments: without the apocalypses, death of most of the humanity, the Day of Judgment.

However, the way, which the movie offers, in many ways repeats the way of already formed western culture: it is being proposed to gather again a group of “chosen”, which secretly from the rest of the “backward and mentally narrow
humanity” will work for the betterment of the world; to create more bright and perfect future is being planned only with the help of technologies development without solving KEY social problems.

Generally, if account the plot of the movie in the whole, the western culture has not managed to get rid from the idea of chosenness. A hero – is special by right of birth, and not because he studied hard, worked on himself and as a result became an ace in his field at all. Yes, the main heroine, Casey, – an NASA engineer’s daughter, and that’s why knows electronics pretty well, yes, she loves dreaming, believes in possibility of an ideal realization, but does it make her someone very special?! Is it few such people living on Earth?! The question is rhetorical, but in the movie bystanders constantly repeat as a mantra, that she – is special.

In other words, the western culture, with all understanding of existing problems on Earth, does not want to change a social organization of the society, without changing of which it will be impossible to solve the problem of “abrosia and obesity at the same time”.

The only recipe, which should and must be taken into account from this film: the children – are our future, they need to be raised in such a way, that they believed in possibility of realization of any very daring plans, were real dreamers, who are ready to follow their dream anywhere. We need to prepare them to the situation, when on their shoulders will lie a work of creation of the bright future.

One may estimate this film as some kind of attempt to change the managerial paradigm, which up to now has lead us to death, as an attempt to ask a question “what if…”: what if the humanity will be able to solve its problems without a global catastrophe? And what if the future will be really bright and good? And what if in the future it will be possible to reach universal happiness?

Oleg Searching

Translated by Daria Egorova

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