098 – Elysium (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 2154  the ruins of Los AngelesElysium

Elysium is a 2013 American science fiction film produced, written and directed by Neill Blomkamp. It stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga, and Sharlto Copley. The film takes place on both a ravaged Earth, and a luxurious space habitat (Stanford torus design) called Elysium. The film itself offers deliberate social commentary which explores political and sociological themes such as immigration, overpopulation, health care, worker exploitation, the justice system, and social class issues. Blomkamp has stated that it is a comment on the contemporary human condition.”Everybody wants to ask me lately about my predictions for the future,” the director has said, “No, no, no. This isn’t science fiction. This is today. This is now.” (The film’s Earth-bound scenes were shot in a dump in the poor Iztapalapa district on the outskirts of Mexico City, while the scenes for Elysium were shot in Vancouver and the wealthy Huixquilucan-Interlomas suburbs of Mexico City.)

elysium

director Neil Blomkamp expressed some regrets regarding Elysium, commenting: “I feel like I fucked it up, I feel like ultimately the story is not the right story.. I still think the satirical idea of a ring, filled with rich people, hovering above the impoverished Earth, is an awesome idea. I love it so much, I almost want to go back and do it correctly. But I just think the script wasn’t… I just didn’t make a good enough film is ultimately what it is. I feel like I executed all of the stuff that could be executed, like costume and set design and special effects very well. But, ultimately, it was all resting on a somewhat not totally formed skeletal system, so the script just wasn’t there; the story wasn’t fully there.”

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071 – Wonderful Days (2003)

spacetime coordinates: AD 2142, Ecoban / Thera / The island of Gibraltar

Wonderful Days (also known as Sky Blue) is a South Korean animated science fiction film, released in 2003, written and directed by Kim Moon-saeng. The film deals with environmental destruction, pollution and class struggle.

wonderful-days

Wonderful Days is set in 2142. Environmental pollution has led to a breakdown of human civilisation. A technologically advanced city named Ecoban was built and it harvests energy from the DELOS System, which uses pollution in a carbonite catalysed reaction to generate power. Carbonite extraction is carried out by people who live outside the city in the surrounding wasteland.

“I know that I shall meet my fate / Somewhere among the clouds above; / Those that I fight I do not hate, / Those that I guard I do not love; / Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, / Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, / A lonely impulse of delight / Drove to this tumult in the clouds; / I balanced all, brought all to mind, / The years to come seemed waste of breath, / A waste of breath the years behind / In balance with this life, this death.” (W B Yeats from the DVD cover)

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