Utopia and dystopia in science fiction films around 1968
By the beginning of the 1960s, the blind faith in technological and economic progress that had evolved since the end of World War II had begun to fade; a key role in this shift was played by the escalating confrontation between East and West—with its attendant risk of nuclear war—as well as by the first indices of environmental damage exacerbated by an ever-expanding consumer culture. By the end of the decade, youth protests in Western countries helped foster a general cultural shift in the climate of postindustrial societies, with rebellious young people embracing skeptical and sometimes pessimistic attitudes toward reigning ideas of ever-evolving technological and economic progress. At the same time, youth culture embraced utopian alternatives, even as the specters of nuclear war and ecological dystopia continued to loom. These utopian and dystopian visions are mirrored with startling clarity in the films of the era, above all in the science fiction film, a genre that reflected, in a striking fashion, ambiguous attitudes toward civilization in general, and the utopian possibilities of technology in particular.
Fahlenbrach, K. (2014)., Utopia and dystopia in science fiction films around 1968, in T. Scott Brown & A. Lison (eds.), The global sixties in sound and vision, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 83-100.
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