Hollywood & Human Progress: Imagining a Better Future

by Leon Saunders Calvert Volume 26, Issue 9-10-11 / November 2022 21 minutes (5052 words)

Cards on the Table

Human wellbeing has improved phenomenally over the past 200 years. Nevertheless, it could easily be that even if you are intelligent, engaged in current affairs, critical of the world’s ills and eager for improvement, you believe that the world is getting worse. Hans Rosling’s book, Factfulness 1 , does a good job of telling us in no uncertain terms that a fact-based worldview reveals just how wrong we are to be so pessimistic and cynical.

In the last 20 years the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has almost halved. Global average life expectancy has gone from 31 years of age in 1800, to 50 years in 1960, to 72 in 2017. The percentage globally of children dying before their 5th birthday has gone from 40% in 1990 to 4% today. The share of people suffering from chronic hunger and undernourishment globally has gone from 28% in 1970 to 11% in 2015. The number of countries where women have equal voting rights to men has gone from 1 in 1893 to 193 in 2017. The share of humanity living under a democratic political system has gone from 1% to 56% in 200 years. The share of girls of primary school age enrolled in education has gone from 65% in 1970 to 90% in 2015. The share of people with access to water from a protected and safe source has gone from 58% in 1980 to 88% in 2015. In the space of a couple of decades more than half a billion people in China were lifted out of poverty.

Why is this important? Because if we don’t know that the world has improved, and we don’t know what caused this improvement, we may very well advocate for policies and action that undermine progress.

Open markets, a commitment to a scientific worldview, democratic institutions which allow for reform through non-violent means, and limitations on the sovereignty of any one person or group (including the majority), have driven unprecedented levels of economic prosperity and human progress. Of course, there is a lot still to solve; current or future global pandemics, climate change, populist threat to democracy, ongoing extreme poverty, increasing inequality, financial collapse, the avoidance of a nuclear war, etc. But addressing these challenges is possible and we should have confidence that the application of science, reason and humanism can make meaningful differences given the immense success we have already had the past few decades. To quote Karl Popper, “The future is open. It is not predetermined and thus cannot be predicted – except by accident. The possibilities that lie in the future are infinite. When I say ‘It is our duty to remain optimists”, this includes not only the openness of the future but also that which all of us contribute to it by everything we do: we are all responsible for what the future holds in store. Thus it is our duty, not to prophesy evil, but, rather, to fight for a better world.” 2

Hollywood Cinema – Fantasy without imagination 3

Hollywood, so often the mirror of society, reflects back the dominant ideology and culture of the time. It is therefore unsurprising to find that most Hollywood visions of the future are dystopian. Perhaps this simply reflects negativity bias [[Steven Pinker discusses this in a Forbes article by Rainer Zitelmann, https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2020/03/02/steven-pinker-evolution-has-saddled-our-species-with-many-irrational-and-destructive-psychological-traits/?sh=67e5768a1a6f dictated by the fact that most news is about sudden events which are typically bad, rather than the more gradual drastic improvements that we, as a species, have delivered over time. Or perhaps Hollywood movies more often choose to display warnings about what the future could hold if we don’t act sufficiently to combat potential negative influences? The potential challenge for Hollywood filmmakers is that the more the future is depicted as representing social progress the more the narrative conflict needs to be created outside of this, whereas in a dystopian future a ready-made canvas for conflict exists in order to drive the storyline.

Either way, I will suggest that the almost complete lack of a non-utopian but positive depictions of a future that reflects human progress, is a failure of imagination in Hollywood. This perhaps feels contradictory to the assumption that science fiction films are the epitome of Hollywood imagination. However, the inability to portray what a society might actually look like in the future based on a continuation of the reduction of poverty, malnutrition and ill-health, and the increase in life expectancy, commitment to science, improved democratic reform, etc. is a short-coming of imagination. It is not beyond reason to imagine that we can find political solutions for reforestation and technological solutions for problems such as deep decarbonization and improved agricultural yield. Problems that seemed more extreme than these in the past – from the inevitability of nuclear holocaust during the Cold War, to the seemingly intractable white supremacist apartheid government ruling South Africa, to the apparently irresolvable Troubles in Northern Ireland between nationalists and unionists – have been addressed and reduced if not eliminated. The notion that our major political problems today are unresolvable is not a new notion.

Blade Runner 2049

Furthermore, not only is Hollywood not able to recognise a future based on the real potential of human progress, but it posits in its stead the notion that advanced societies are founded on pre-modern civilizations. This is usually subtle and is often depicted with positive intent. But the appeal of the pre-modern world implies that “the unchanging certainties of pre-critical societies, with their authority, hierarchy, ritual, tabu” 4 can deliver the benefits of modernity. This is dangerous and false. The notion that a commitment to authoritarian power and mysticism can deliver technological and social progress is appealing – and when presented in the form of implicit assumptions in narrative form – can be very convincing.

In this article I will look at a few recent films to come out of Hollywood that represent the types of mistakes, and occasionally the kinds of insights, that I refer to above. Firstly, I will contrast the worldview presented in two very recent films, Dune and The Last Duel, by A-list directors in the studio system. Dune is set about 20,000 years in the future, while The Last Duel is set over 600 years in the past. I will argue that The Last Duel is more modernist in its worldview than is Dune. I will then turn to look at the Blade Runner franchise, whose view of the future is dystopian, but also highly sophisticated, giving us a strong insight into what a corrective approach might look like towards a better future. Finally, I shall come to a film that I think does, subtly and in a nuanced way, provide one of the few depictions in Hollywood cinema of a future which is not utopian, but realistic and aspirational. An optimistic but not fantasy-laden exploration of where a progressive agenda – led by science, reason, humanism – might take us, and indeed what might be the conflicts that pre-dominate in such circumstances.


The Last Duel, Dune and the myth of advancements in human progress built on pre-modern societies

The directors, Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve, respectively, are connected by the Blade Runner franchise, with Scott directing the original and Villeneuve directing the sequel. Interestingly Scott was critical of the sequel for being too long, too slow and not crisp enough. I disagreed then and I disagree now, but it highlights a key stylistic difference between them. In the second half of Scott’s career, he has been incredibly prolific. He has a reputation for being a highly efficient shooter, always coming in under time and under budget, even on his large scale films. But this has resulted in his films starting to feel rushed and a little overly efficient. In his earlier work, Scott would hold shots for extended periods, inviting the viewer to interrogate the image. His shots are still often rich in detail — The Last Duel is highly authentic in look and feel to its medieval setting, but I found myself in various moments in the film actively wanting Scott to slow down on the editing, hold the shots for longer, allow me to breathe in the detail and be more voyeuristic about the mise-en-scene. I suspect that Scott is still one of the top 2% of shooters – as Michael Mann described him to Russell Crowe when the former encouraged the latter to respond to Scott’s calls to consider the lead role in Gladiator –but he is in danger of hiding it from the audience through sheer turnover of shots.

By contrast Villeneuve’s Dune is utterly sumptuous to look at. The shot design and aural overlay invites the viewer to soak up the atmosphere, allowing you to peruse the screen and drink in the imagery, aesthetically and intellectually. Villeneuve has staked a claim, alongside Nolan, as the heir to Spielberg, Scott, Coppola, Mann, Kubrick, as an auteur with a highly identifiable and idiosyncratic style who can work within the structure of big budget Hollywood and get highly personal films made within the blockbuster system.


But it is the thematic contrast between Dune and The Last Duel which most interests me.

Dune is a science fiction movie set in the distant future, which is superficially highly imaginative, but which is ultimately obsessed by a medieval worldview in which human interaction and political and social structures are governed by feudal aristocratic families, bloodlines, superstition and mysticism as a route to truth, and ritualistic combat as a method of resolving dispute. The superficial creativity of this future interstellar storyline is based on an extremely unimaginative implicit assumption that pre-modern social structures are a good proxy for import and gravitas. The superficially Shakespearean feel – the Machiavellian politicking between dynastic families – no doubt feels, to many, sophisticated. But the notion that advanced societies with highly sophisticated technology would most likely be best represented as holding medieval superstitions and social structures is the opposite of a sophisticated worldview.

Black Panther

Much like Avatar, Black Panther and The Last Samurai, it is obsessed with the tribal and the medieval in its celebration of the authenticity of the poor pre-modern superstitious tribal and not-so-subtly-named Fremen. They are contrasted with the aristocratic houses who are corrupt, cynical, war mongering and decadent. Outside of the Fremen, we get no sense whatsoever of the lives of the non-aristocratic families across the universe. Apparently, this assumed mass of billions of people is not of importance when compared to the nobles, who, after all, hold all the power in this apparently advanced society. It is a story which attempts to get its gravitas, sense of wonder and import from a pre-democratic monarchistic worldview, which it celebrates more than it critiques, and certainly does not offer an alternative vision for how societies – particularly advanced ones– ought to be, or could be, governed or organised.

I am reminded of Brad Nguyen’s article on the lack of political creativity in Game of Thrones [[Brad Nguyen, Fantasy Without Imagination, https://www.killyourdarlings.com.au/2012/06/fantasy-without-imagination/. Or Yohan Hari’s review of The Last Samurai [[Yohann Hari, The Danger of this Growing Fashion for Nostalgia, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/the-danger-of-this-growing-fashion-for-nostalgia-73486.html in which the samurai are celebrated as the last moral bastions who were unfairly beaten by the harbingers of Japan’s modern prosperity. Or the Time Out review for Avatar [[Tom Huddleston, https://www.timeout.com/movies/avatar which rightly criticises the film for its depiction of the supposed superiority of primitive societies. Or Patrick Gathara’s critique of the myth of advanced tribal societies in Black Panther. [[Patrick Gathara, Black Panther Offers a Regressive, Neocolonial Vision of Africa, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/02/26/black-panther-offers-a-regressive-neocolonial-vision-of-africa/

Human progress – by which I mean the eradication of suffering, the provision of healthcare, food, shelter, legal protection and recourse from abuse and violence, as well as access to recreation – is not brought about through patriarchy, tribalism, superstition, mysticism or the supernatural. The creation of advanced societies – technologically and cognitively – requires science, reason, democracy and humanism.

The Last Duel, by comparison, is actually set in medieval times, and represents all these same kind of practices (ritualistic combat, superstition as a route to truth, bloodlines dominated by patriarchy, etc.) but finds all kinds of ways of demonstrating the poverty of the worldview it represents. I have seen the film be accused of being for the ‘woke’ generation, but I actually experienced it to be more authentic in story and texture than most of his previous historical epics (including Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, 1492, Robin Hood and Exodus – the first two of which I love nevertheless) that are more overtly anachronistic in many ways.

The Last Duel

The Rashomon-style narrative structure – in which the same event is replayed from multiple perspectives giving alternative versions of what happened– brings a palpable sense of the violent patriarchy that dominates all but the most recent human history. The sense of identification with the everyday suffering and occasional extreme abuse of Marguerite de Carrouges is an example of one of the great opportunities cinema (and art more broadly) affords, which is to enable you to see the world through another’s eyes. In this case, it allows the viewer to realise the unfairness of the treatment of the female protagonist, which through the point of view of the male characters was less obvious. This is a similar trick to that pulled by Hitchcock in Vertigo, “from the moment when Hitchcock allows us access to the consciousness of [the female protagonist], the male identification position is undermined beyond all possibility of recuperation; no spectator of either sex, surely, acquiesces in [her abuse] or perceives the male protagonist’s treatment of her as other than monstrous and pathological.” 5 The film now finds a way to explicitly critique the structures that dominate society, particularly the patriarchy of medievalism. Cinema like this can, in small ways, help us to be better people by facilitating the practice of empathy with someone whose experiences you would not otherwise be easily able to have access to.

The film makes a mockery of the moral superiority of those in religious, monarchistic or aristocratic power, and is so non-mystical in its representation of the era that claims by certain characters’ to ‘God’s intent’ appear ridiculous in the face of the self-evident absence of a higher power to offer moral certitude, validation or protection.

At the point of writing, Villeneuve seems to be at the height of his powers stylistically and in his storytelling power, surpassing Scott in the sheer delight at the ability to create pure audio-visual splendour in cinema, but he still has a thing or two to learn from Scott about the maturity of subtext, the risks in creating propaganda for primitive ideology, and the power of cinema to highlight the dangers of nostalgia for pre-modern societies.

To summarise, Dune posits the view that advanced societies are structured and built around the concepts of medievalism –monarchistic and aristocratic feuding powers who compete for favour and influence and who hand over power only through nepotism and bloodlines. A major ideological theme for these advanced societies is mysticism – where power, prescience, telepathy and access to truth can be gained by training in supernatural practices based on Pagan-like religion.

The Last Duel, on the other hand, posits a view that the practices, ideology and institutions of medievalism are unfit for the purpose of human well-being. It focuses particularly, although not exclusively, on the well-being of women given that these societies are dominated by patriarchy built on the poverty ridden foundations of enforced social inequality, deference to superstition and ‘might is right’ structures. Without any of the characters stating it, the film cleverly constructs a position in the aggregate, that human progress is unlikely, if not impossible, in the context of a medieval social framework. This wildly contrasts with Dune’s celebration of said framework.

Blade Runner 2049 – intelligent dystopia and the power of a corrosive and corrective worldview

Sticking with Denis Villenueve and Ridley Scott, Villenueve’s Blade Runner 2049 was a worthy successor to Scott’s Blade Runner in the sense that it continues the thematic elements of Blade Runner and extended them further.

One of the great film critics, Robin Wood, wrote a superbly incisive piece on the original Blade Runner in which he noted that, “the replicants are identified as an oppressed and exploited proletariat: produced to serve their capitalist masters, they are discarded when their usefulness is over and ‘retired’ (i.e., destroyed) when they rebel against such usage. Roy tells Deckard: ‘Quite an experience to live in fear. That’s what it is to be a slave.’ They are also associated with racial minorities, sexual ambiguity, no families, [and] childhood.”

Blade Runner, amongst other things, is a study of humanity and racism in the context of a world ruled by an extreme form of capitalism. The replicants are very sophisticated products which replicate human behaviour. It is not surprising then that they also turn out to replicate human feelings and aspirations, a phenomenon which is not prevented by limiting their lives to four years. Far from recognizing fellow sentient creatures, and treating them with all due respect, the humans – who have become pretty callous and indifferent, even to each other – decide to butcher them on sight, which understandably causes resentment among the replicants. However, that does not deflect Roy from his final act of magnanimity: the most compassionate act during the whole film. If the replicants have “human” feelings, why not “human” generosity as well? The ambiguity at the end shows that in the final analysis there is not much difference between them and the humans, indeed the director’s cut of the film leaves ambiguous the question of which race/species Deckard belongs.

The film serves as a reminder of the ills of unfettered capitalism: the humans get less and less human. We could therefore see it as a morality tale telling us to respect one another and, in the event that we create genuinely sentient creatures in the future, we will also have to respect them.

The world of Blade Runner 2049 extends the themes outlined above. It is a dystopian world, but different to most dystopian stories in that it is not as a result of governmental totalitarian rule around an organised political agenda. Rather, like its prequel, it is the result of a complete lack of regulation and a complete lack of state intervention in the wellbeing of society. Our worst fears about an extremist form of capitalism are realised on-screen in a depiction of a society in which everything, including sex and intimacy, has been commoditised. This in turn has created a desperate isolationism. The environment has been dilapidated to the point that the atmosphere in and above Los Angeles is impenetrable and the city is constantly dark. The climate has been affected to such a degree that snow is a regular occurrence in the city. San Diego has become a waste ground, a city sized rubbish dump. Las Vegas suffers from the radiation impact of a nuclear event years earlier. Extreme inequality exists, most obviously demonstrated by the child slave labour who create parts for the off-world colonialists, the wealthy who can afford not to live on Earth. A strong social hierarchy exists – with replicants at the bottom – with little indication that social mobility is easy or possible. Capitalism is obviously unregulated – the state is either non-existent or utterly powerless – as is evident from the fact that only the Tyrell Corporation, and later, the Wallace Corporation, have the IP to create replicants. It is a total monopoly with no competition.

The dystopia is created not by an overly strong government usurping control and totalitarian rule, but rather by a total lack of governance in which free market forces have created social division, environmental havoc, isolationism, commoditisation of everything, and in which a small number of massive corporations have become the dominant power base in society.

In Blade Runner 2049 there is a more explicit association than in the original of the dominance of unfettered capitalism and the patriarchy on which this is founded and is maintained. Whilst some reviewers are critical of the apparent misogyny in the film, the omnipresent sexualization of the female form for consumption by the male-gaze, I think that Rachael Kaines’ response, consistent with Robin Wood’s comments on the original film referenced above, is much more heavily supported by a close reading of the film. “The gender politics in Blade Runner 2049 are intentional… The movie is about secondary citizens. Replicants. Orphans. Women. Slaves. Just by depicting these secondary citizens in subjugation doesn’t mean that it is supportive of these depictions – they are a condemnation.” 6

The film emphasizes the usurpation of the state by capitalist forces. The existence of a revolutionary replicant movement looking for social reform seems doomed to failure given the lack of any serious state control. This, intentionally, leaves open the question as to exactly how social reform would take place. Who would the replicant freedom movement appeal to or fight against given the almost total lack of governance? The existence of the state is referred to only in the existence of the police force. But we are given the impression that the ability for the police force to make a difference is trivially small. The idea that individual agency is able to change social outcomes in this environment feels like an impossibility and makes the underlying atmosphere very nihilistic. At least the narrative is internally consistent though. This contrasts with the superficially similar film, Elysium, which also presents a world in which the worst aspects of unregulated free markets have created huge inequality of income, exploitation of workers, the erosion of state power by corporate interests, the commoditisation of basic human and healthcare rights, major distinctions between rich and poor based on racial grounds, etc. But in Elysium the notion of individual heroism, depicted by Matt Damon’s character, who appears to change the world and solve all its social inequalities, makes the film feel unrealistic and idealised in the extreme. Elysium is the omnipotence to Blade Runner 2049’s impotence.

Blade Runner 2049 functions as a warning of the dangers of a lack of governance required to create an open society, and the social degradation of leaving political outcomes to unregulated market forces. It is bleak and offers little in the way of a progressive path, rather suggesting that we avoid this future before we lose the ability to influence political reform and abandon control to the worst excesses of capitalism.

Quoting Kolker on Kubrick – but which I think is apt for Blade Runner 2049 – “[His] films explore the world, [are] articulated with complexity, irony, and an awareness of history, politics, and culture that we expect from the strongest imaginations. They are modernist explorations of a universe made frightful by our own bad choices. By showing how these bad choices are made and the prices to be paid, they are both corrosive and corrective.” 7

…but not revolutionary, or even reformist.

Spike Jonze’s Her –an alternative to a dystopian future


Typically in Hollywood films set in the future, either; government has established dictatorial control (1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, THX 1138, Brazil, Battle Royale, Equilibrium, V for Vendetta, The Hunger Games, etc), or capitalism has undermined government power and is unchecked and has turned fascistic (Metropolis, Alien, Blade Runner, Rollerball, The Island, Elysium, etc). Furthermore, world peace has been undermined and rendered impossible through crime (Akira, Demolition Man, Judge Dredd, Minority Report, Chappie, Ghost in the Shell, Alita) nuclear war (Planet of the Apes, Mad Max, The Road), pandemics (Twelve Monkeys, Children of Men, I Am Legend, Contagion, World War Z), or environmental damage (Wall-E, Interstellar). And finally, but just as importantly, technology is threatening to take or has already taken control of human affairs (Terminator, TRON, Westworld, Lawnmower Man, The Matrix, I, Robot, Ex Machina, etc).

Why is Hollywood so dreary about the future? This is odd if we agree with Obama’s statement (which I do), that, “If you had to choose one moment in history in which to be born, and you didn’t know in advance whether you were going to be male or female, which country you were going to be from, what your status was, you’d choose right now.” 8

Referring back to Factfulness by Hans Rosling (as well as the likes of Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker), what would the depiction of what the world would look like if we actually continued the trajectory of the last few decades? Imagine what the world would look like under an assumption of increased democracy, increased prosperity, ongoing scientific medical improvements, increased benefits of diversity through internationalism and global trade, improvements in technology to manage climate change, etc. This is harder to find in cinema.

As discussed, this is probably because people respond more readily to bad news than good news. The benefits of being critical and corrective seem to overwhelm those of being satisfied and complacent. And drama requires conflict which is easier to generate in a dystopia than in depictions of political, economic, social and environmental progress. Indeed, it is likely that any film that would depict such a world would likely make it part of the background rather than being a driver of the story and of the drama.

Which is exactly what Spike Jonze’s Her does. The modern unnamed city in Her is vast but non-threatening. It has immense architecture but is balanced by lots of greenery. It is specifically non-descript in terms of being recognisably a specific location –it was actually shot in both Los Angeles and Shanghai. It is international in terms of cultural influence and cosmopolitan inhabitants. It is secular. According to the production designer KK Barrett, “The future LA is convenient, comfortable, bespoke…, healthy, and available… It gives more information about the characters and the world around them without being intrusive.” 9

The drama does not come from the depiction of either a utopian or a dystopian future. Instead it comes from the proposed inherent challenges associated with a sense of isolation when urban life offers lots of culture but also is in a perpetual state of flux and fluidity. It is a modern world in which technology pierces everything we do. Change is constant and the ability to find stable relationships is reduced, especially when so much of our relationships are intermediated by omnipresent technology.

An article in the The Economist tells us that, “teenagers are getting drunk less often…A rising proportion of teenagers have never tried anything mind-altering, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, inhalants and sedatives…Nor are young people harming each other as much as they used to…Teenagers are also having less sex…[they] seem to use social media as an alternative to face-to-face communication. In doing so, they pass up some opportunities to develop deep emotional connections with their friends… teenagers seem lonelier than in the past.” 10

This has striking parallels with Her. The film shows human progress as being dramatically improved in terms of physical well-being. There are little to no signs of poverty, homelessness, or environmental degradation. Instead the film focuses on the emerging existential challenges in which, with all their basic needs and comforts solved for, individuals are more focused on leisure time and trying to establish how they create meaning for themselves in a humanist world. This is rendered harder to do as barriers to intimacy are easy to create with technological intermediation. The film shows that building meaningful relationships with limited intimate human interaction is hard, but not impossible. Having been enamoured with and then burned by a relationship with a computer program (Samantha, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson), which the film depicts incredibly sympathetically and sensitively, Her finishes with the protagonist, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) reconnecting with his best real life friend, Amy (Amy Adams), implying human connection and relationships are where meaning is to be found.

A better world is possible

The Martian

Are filmmakers up to the task of imagining this without defaulting to the false dichotomy of dystopia/utopia? Rarely. But Her, and perhaps some others such as Arrival or The Martian, offer an indication that picturing a future that extrapolates the human progress made over the last two hundred years is possible. Envisaging that our social and environmental challenges be managed and improved with an astute commitment to science, innovation, policy and capital optimization is possible. And our ability to imagine it makes achieving it more likely.


  1. Rosling, Hans, Factfulness
  2. Popper, Karl, The Myth of the Framework: In Defense of science and rationality. Ed. M. A. Notturno, Routledge, London and New York, 1994, p. xiii
  3. Title of the section references the title of an article by Brad Nguyen which I thought was highly apt, https://www.killyourdarlings.com.au/2012/06/fantasy-without-imagination/
  4. Magee, Bryan, Popper, Fontana Press (London) 1985 (first published 1973), p88.
  5. Wood, Robin, Hollywood: From Vietnam to Reagan… and Beyond: Expanded and Revised Edition, ‘Two Films By Martin Scorsese’, Columbia University Press, 2003, pp. 220-221.
  6. Kaines, Rachael (October 23, 2017)., ‘Blade Runner 2049’ May Be Set in the Future, But Do Its Female Characters Have One Foot in the Past?, https://web.archive.org/web/20171201041812/https://moviepilot.com/p/is-blade-runner-2049-feminist/4387112 More philosophically, the film takes as its central premise the implications of human/replicant reproduction. This has two important consequences. Firstly, the line that delineates humans from synthetics has become porous, extending the ambiguity between them which was so central to thematic value of Scott’s original. And secondly, that the patriarchal capitalist domination of the means of production (to use Marxist terminology) is itself an attempt to replicate the means of reproduction. The inability to execute reproduction without a female is the driving force of Niander Wallace’s company as well as his psychopathy – the two of which are fused in a kind of terrible and warped sublimation. Helen Lewis articulates this well, citing the film as, “an uneasy feminist parable about controlling the means of reproduction”, in which, “its villain, Niander Wallace, is consumed by rage that women can do something he cannot.” [[Helen Lewis, Blade Runner 2049 is an uneasy feminist parable about controlling the means of reproduction, https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/film/2017/10/blade-runner-2049-uneasy-feminist-parable-about-controlling-means-reproduction
  7. Kolker, Robert, A Cinema Of Loneliness, Third Edition, published in New York, USA by Oxford University Press, 2000, p174.
  8. https://www.businessinsider.com/president-barack-obama-speech-goalkeepers-2017-9?r=US&IR=T
  9. https://la.curbed.com/2013/12/18/10166216/how-the-her-filmmakers-created-a-utopian-los-angeles-of-the
  10. https://amp.economist.com/international/2018/01/10/teenagers-are-better-behaved-and-less-hedonistic-nowadays

Hollywood & Human Progress: Imagining a Better Future

Leon Saunders Calvert works in a financial information media company in London. He has a BA Hons from the University of Essex in Philosophy and Literature, including film studies, and an MSc in International Management from the University of Reading. He believes that the study of philosophy and culture can be fundamental to providing us with a better understanding of the world we live in and the ways in which it can be improved, rather than undertaken as a kind of intellectual workout, as is so often the case. Leon has published reviews in Film International and The Film Journal.

Volume 26, Issue 9-10-11 / November 2022 Essays   apocalyptic cinema   dennis villeneuve   dystopia   ridley scott   science-fiction