Anarchism and science fiction: 0


12 Monkeys (1995, dir. Terry Gilliam)

A time traveller sent back to 1996 to trace the source of a virus that had wiped out five billion people is haunted by his childhood memory of seeing the fatal shooting of his own adult self. A feature-length re-envisioning of Chris Marker's 1962 short La Jetée.

 

One contributor to the Anarchism and Science Fiction Forum, in November 2016, listed this film alone as his idea of the best sf ever committed to film.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916, dir. Stuart Paton)

Respected adaptation of the Verne novel, also incorporating elements from The Mysterious Island.

 

Described by Mark Bould as "The only adaptation of Jules Verne's novel to emphasise Nemo's anticolonialism."

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Follows a voyage to Jupiter in a spacecraft under the control of the sentient computer HAL 9000, after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith that apparently nurtures human evolution. The best and most significant sf film yet made.

 

Schembrie's 'Science Fiction and Libertarianism' draws attention to the anti-government aspect, in that "the government so badly botches an attempt to contact extraterrestrials that the spaceship computer kills the crew."

 

 

2081 (2009, dir. Chandler Tuttle)

Excellent short adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's 'Harrison Bergeron', featuring one individual's rebellion against a dystopian US reductio ad absurdum in which the drive for 'equality' has been so total that a 'handicapper general' ensures all physical and mental aptitudes are forcibly reduced to the lowest common denominator.

 

Reviewed enthusiastically by Alex Peak, for whom this is "a simply-breathtaking libertarian short film." Peak says the film is not about any authentic concept of equality: "Rather, this is an objectively authoritarian perversion of equality, the real aim of which is the subjugation by the state of its subjects, and the obliteration of individualism. Fortunately, the state turns out to be incapable of entirely destroying the extraordinary." This is a rather rose-tinted view, however, of the film's bleak ending.

 

 


See my hotlist, for for items particularly recommended by me.

 

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This page was last revised on 2017-04-15.

© Benjamin S. Beck 2005–2017

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