Some movies should be appreciated for what they are: pure entertainment. After all, while film may be considered an art, it is also a means of income for its creators and therefore must appeal to a wide audience whether it be with its due amount of action, romance, comedy, or drama. However, beyond the box office numbers or net gain from movie making, entertainment can also be a channel to convey certain messages to the masses.

 

Here are three futuristic movies you can watch on cinema box app that say a lot about the state of our society and prompt us to consider where we will all be in the persistent future:

 

1. “Her”

Her is a very multidimensional film that also provides commentary on the state of our culture now and where it is going in the future. This quirky romance directed by Spike Jonze takes place in some unspecified future date in what seems to be the city of LA. The portrayal of the future in this movie is very subtle, avoiding the “in your face” trap many futuristic movies fall into in their attempts at representing the culture many years from now. Aesthetically, the movie is spot on. Where we stand now, the current trend is very much leaning towards a return to past styles; high waists (that only get higher for men in the movie) old-fashioned glasses, vintage pieces with a bit of an edgy, futuristic flair. Especially in the city of LA, the culture revolves around a natural and “pure”  lifestyle and organic foods, which is also portrayed to some extent in the movie.

The most meaningful commentary, however, lies in the premise of the movie itself; a lonely human man, lost in a world of isolation, falls in love with his artificially (or genuinely?) intelligent operating system. This is a statement in and of itself about our society’s fascination and infatuation with technology. Also, the protagonist in the movie, Theodore Twombly, played by the great Joaquin Phoenix, is a professional card-writer. He makes a living by writing and manufacturing other people’s feelings and putting them into cards. This is another ominous prediction of our declining ability to express our feelings to one another and voice original thoughts in a heartfelt way without a pre-written card or message doing the talking for us. It was unnerving to see the office where he worked, full of humans writing what should be other people’s heartfelt messages of thanks, happy birthday, congratulations, happy anniversary, or just I miss you. This is another way that magnifies the isolation and disdain for human distance Theodore Twombly feels throughout the movie.



Ethan Hawke pictured in the 1997 futuristic movie, Gattaca. (movpins.com)

Ethan Hawke pictured in the 1997 futuristic movie, Gattaca. (movpins.com)

2. “Gattaca”

Gattaca is another exciting action movie set in the future that sends a message about the state of our culture and human evolution. In the future portrayed in this movie, there is a growing divide between the classes, not solely on the basis of income, as exists in the modern world, but also due to the prevalence of a new trend of genetic manipulation. Not only are the rich and poor a world apart because of their access to the different types of monetary and social capital (access to education, social connections, and cultural knowledge, etc.) there is an even greater divide because of the absolute genetic and physical perfection of those who can afford to genetically manipulate the ideally beautiful, smart, healthy offspring. Those who are not genetically perfect begin to experience extreme discrimination; they are not allowed access to the best jobs, education, amenities, and overall lifestyle. They are considered inferior human specimens, and therefore make up a subcategory of the society, cut off from the affluent and perfect high society. 

Although there are numerous positives to the scientific practice of genetic manipulation, they are now developing the ability to regrow working limbs, organ transplants, etc. to heal people who need it, in this futuristic scenario, the ability to genetically manipulate a perfect human from scratch only causes a greater disparity between rich and poor and fuels a beauty-obsessed society hell-bent on achieving perfection and ultimate luxury in every facet of life.



3. “Back To The Future”

Back to the Future is a classic futuristic movie from the 80’s that speaks to the future not of our society but each of our own personal destinies. In the second back to the future movie, Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, ventures 30 years ahead of time in a Dolorian car and gets a glimpse at what his life will be given that he continues on his current path, and continues to conduct his life the way he aways has. He sees the way his behavior continue to affect his own life, and the lives of others; in his future he has a family of his own. Seeing the way his future could possibly play out was a risky mission, but provided him with enough of a wakeup call to realize the mistakes he has made in his current life and avoid making them in his future. Marty McFly decides to write his own destiny, rather than to fall prey to what could be.

 

What is your favorite futuristic movie? Leave a response in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda