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Dystopian movies — and acknowledging reality

In light of my recent post about modern life and dystopias, the Dystopian Movie meme I found at SFSignal seemed timely. The rule is simply to put in bold the movies you’ve seen from the following list of top 50 dystopian movies.

  • Metropolis (1927)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • Brazil (1985)
  • Wings of Desire (1987)
  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • Children of Men (2006)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
  • Minority Report (2002)
  • Delicatessen (1991)
  • Sleeper (1973)
  • The Trial (1962)
  • Alphaville (1965)
  • Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  • Serenity (2005)
  • Pleasantville (1998)
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  • Battle Royale (2000)
  • RoboCop (1987)
  • Akira (1988)
  • The City of Lost Children (1995)
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • V for Vendetta (2005)
  • Metropolis (2001)
  • Gattaca (1997)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
  • On The Beach (1959)
  • Mad Max (1979)
  • Total Recall (1990)
  • Dark City (1998)
  • War Of the Worlds (1953)
  • District B13 (2004)
  • They Live (1988)
  • THX 1138 (1971)
  • Escape from New York (1981)
  • A Scanner Darkly (2006)
  • Silent Running (1972)
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
  • A Boy and His Dog (1975)
  • Soylent Green (1973)
  • I Robot (2004)
  • Logan’s Run (1976)
  • Strange Days (1995)
  • Idiocracy (2006)
  • Death Race 2000 (1975)
  • Rollerball (1975)
  • Starship Troopers (1997)
  • One Point O (2004)
  • Equilibrium (2002)

As I clock in at having seen more than half the movies (and there’s at least four others I’ve seen parts of), I hypothetically know whereof I speak when it comes to fictional dystopias.

I must admit, though, feeling somewhat troubled by even appearing to claim any expertise — or discussing the topic — when the last two weeks tragically prove that not all dystopias are fictional. My freedom to air my concerns about where the U.S. is heading or for any of us to even discuss topics like the “best” dystopian movies is a razor-like contrast to the desire for freedom being crushed and people disappearing in the real dystopias that exist in the 21st Century. More, in a way, tomorrow.


People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.

George Orwell, 1984

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1 comment to Dystopian movies — and acknowledging reality

  • Anthony D. Renli

    Ok…something you must to do:
    1) Obtain through whatever means necessary a copy of The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World by Harlan Ellison
    2) Read “A Boy and His Dog” (ok, read the whole book…it’s Ellison, so if nothing else, it’ll be interesting)
    3) Obtain (again through whatever means necessary) a copy of the Movie “A Boy and His Dog”
    4) Watch it