Science-Reality I

Terry Gilliam's Brazil
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The reason I am fascinated about the future is because -as Woody Allen said- it’s the place where we are going to spend the rest of our lives.

Last November while working on our final collaborative project for the term, Ken Hollings came in to give a lecture on networks, during which we watched the film Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965) by Jean-Luc Godard. The movie was, firstly very French, and secondly very enlightening about Godard’s particular conception of a dystopic future where the concept of love has been erased from people’s minds.

A couple of weeks after, during the scenario planning for the same project, I found it very useful to re-watch Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1986). I have always enjoyed Gilliam’s power to translate nonsense into incredible grotesque images, and the way he balances criticism with the right amount of humour.  Brazil’s vision about overflowed technology, bureaucracy and an authoritarian state that (aims to) surveil and (tries to) control everything inspired me, and in a certain way I think it helped us (me and my team) analyse our drivers and map-out our future scenarios.


The reason I am fascinated about the future is because -as Woody Allen said- it’s the place where we are going to spend the rest of our lives, and considering that most of my work experience consisted in watching movies, I though that I would share some of the Sci-Fi films I find interesting and useful, for scenario planning, trend forecasting, and in general to open your mind to some brilliant -and sometimes crazy accurate- ideas about the future.


Since I got over-excited about the subject l’ll share my recommendations in two posts, starting neither with an all-time classic nor one of my favourites, but with a movie that ‘predicted’ a lot of things about a future that is now our present: Minority Report (2001), directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the short-story of Philip K. Dick.


Even though it may not look like it, Minority Report was made more than a decade ago, when iPhones didn’t exist, so all the “swiping” on screen that we do every five minutes now, was a fantasy back then. Anderton (Cruise) watched old 3D holograms of his son, like the one of Tupac performing at Coachella last year. Finally, and more shockingly, “visualizing human intention” the whole argument of the movie according to World Future Society, is also happening. Right now it is not as sophisticated as in the movie and it doesn’t involve twins in a milky solution (yet), but it’s already out of the science fiction category and into our lives.


If you can stand Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell starring in the same movie, have a look at Minority Report. And if you are looking for other movies with wonderful technological dreams that came true or dystopian futures waiting to happen (or not) watch this space for my next post.


Image: Terry Gilliam’s Brazil Official Movie Poster (fragment)