Along the lines of matters involving the security of the Middle Class, I offer these observations of the movies that fascinate.
Last year when I spoke about the greatness of Ronald Reagan I mentioned that one of the things he engendered that was most impressive to me was 'Morning in America'. I liked having the confidence back, but it wasn't some time that I realized how much I had fed on the diet of dispair that had become deeply embedded in our national culture. One of these days soon, I'm going to watch Network. I never have, but I bet I know everything about that mood of desparate degeneracy it will evoke.
When I look back to my teenage years in the late seventies, I was as eager to grow up as any. But there was a deep cynicism I fed on that was only gradually punctured by light. Perhaps it was too late; I still retain a taste for the dark and desparate movie. Having grown some sophistication it is easy to see this now in retrospect. So here follows a list of some of the top films that remind me very much of the kind of insecurity we felt. Nothing spoke of that more clearly than the Hollywood cliche of humanity gone feral. Somehow in these post-apocalyptic epics the bad guys always managed to get dirtbikes and leather. Go figure.
Heavy Metal: Harry Canyon
The dysfunctional future is never anywhere so cynically realized than in the episode of Heavy Metal involving the Loc Nar. The future is filthy, violent, sleazy, greedy and utterly devoid of virtue. Everything is a dangerous con game, and only the paranoid survive.
The Omega Man
"Robert Neville, a doctor,due to an experimental vaccine, is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons". That just about says it all, eh? This is probably the most intelligent zombie flick ever made, but man is it ever dark.
What hasn't been said about this film? It is the sine qua non of the feral motorcycle movie, all the way to what I imagine Tank Girl was. Thank god they only made three in this series.
Escape From New York
I'm probably the only man in my generation who hasn't seen this film. There was something about it and The Warriors that I simply didn't want to see. But I did see Escape From LA and I'm sure that I didn't miss anything. But New York as tragic Gotham is standard fare. I think you are catching the drift.
I have to admit finally that as an action flick with something of an interesting story, I dug Waterworld for what it was worth. Not so many of these movies are made today. Our fears are more centered around what evil and heroic cliques can do, than what global calamities may befall us and rewind the world back to zero. I enjoyed the production values of the remake of Planet of the Apes too, but man was that dialog crap.
The powerful middle class clique is central to the premises of heroism in The Matrix series. Looking forward to MI3, I predict it will fail or succeed according to how well Cruise is integrated with a team. That was key to the first film, and kind of fell off in the second. We cannot accept that ordinary people a Dirty Harry style heroic individuals any longer. Nothing speaks to this quite like the success of Jack Bauer who would be nothing without his team at CTU. Dennis Haysbert's new series 'The Unit' is the prototype moving forward. He nails it. As we understand these cliques of ability and power, we will start to comprehend the decentralized world. This is the problem of the 21st Century.