utopia n.
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Utopia
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  1. Utopia A place, state or condition that is ideally perfect in respect to politics, laws, customs, and conditions.

  2. Dystopia A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control.

  3. Characteristics of a Dystopia • Propaganda is used to control the citizens. • Information, independent thought and freedom are restricted (China, Korea) • A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens. (Jim Jones, Charles Manson) • Constant surveillance. • Citizens have fear of the outside world. (TheHunger Games, The Giver ) . • The natural world is banished and distrusted. (The Village). • Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad. • The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.

  4. Dystopian Controls • Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through, advertising, and/or media. (Minority Report and Running Man) • Technological Control: Society is controlled by technology through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. ( I, Robot , The Matrix, The Terminator.) • Philosophical/Religious/Governmental control: Society is controlled by philosophical or ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government. (1984, Fahrenheit 451)

  5. Dystopian Protagonists • Often feel trapped and are struggling to escape. • Question the existing social and political systems. • Believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he/she lives. • Helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.

  6. Total Recall • What is reality when you can’t trust your memory? Set in the year 2084, an Earthbound construction worker keeps having dreams about Mars. A trip to a false memory transplant service for an imaginary trip to Mars goes terribly wrong and another personality surfaces. When his old self returns, he finds groups of his friends and several strangers seem to have orders to kill him. He finds records his other self left him that tell him to get to Mars to join up with the underground. The reality of the situation is constantly in question. Who is he? Which personality is correct? Which version of reality is true? (Directed by Paul Verhoeven)

  7. Escape from New York The island of Manhattan has been turned into the world’s largest maximum security prison, a place where the worst of humanity is sent to rot. The U.S. Government finds itself in a major crisis when the president’s plane crash lands in New York only days before a vital peace summit between major warring nations is to take place. Only war hero turned felon Snake Plissken can save the day, and he is offered a simple deal for his work: save the president and live, fail to save him and die. (Directed by John Carpenter)

  8. 1984 George A fine and stunning screen adaptation of George Orwell’s prophetic 1948 novel about a world in which the government completely controls the masses by controlling their thoughts, altering history and even changing the meaning of words to suit its needs. (Directed by Michael Radford)

  9. Minority Report In Washington, D.C., in the year 2054, murder has been eliminated. The future is seen and the guilty punished before the crime has ever been committed. From a nexus deep within the Justice Department’s elite Pre-Crime unit, all the evidence to convict–from imagery alluding to the time, place and other details–is seen by “Pre-Cogs,” three psychic beings whose visions of murders have never been wrong. (Directed by Steven Spielberg)

  10. The Matrix Neo is a young software engineer and part-time hacker who is singled out by some mysterious figures who want to introduce him into the secret of ‘the matrix’. The cops also seem to be after him, and he takes a chance on discovering what he has always suspected: that the world is not quite what it seems to be and a sinister conspiracy is at work. (Directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski)