Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dystopian Futures and Melancholy Anti-Heroes

Why are happy endings a rarity in science fiction? While there are some exceptions, for the most part sci-fi films like to depict the worst possible scenarios, show us the worst of humanity and its people. From films like the Alien series, to THX 1138, to the Terminator franchise, majority of sci-fi is dark, gritty, and virtually filled with unhappiness.

Perhaps this is what filmmakers think that this is what moviegoers want, I'm not sure, but is it too much to ask for to see a sci-fi film made that isn't dark, isn't depressing, and has characters in which you can care for?

I can count the number of these type of sci-fi films on one hand, and nearly half of those qualify as a blend of sci-fi and fantasy (a.k.a. Star Wars). While I am not a science fiction expert (my older brother Jonathan is), I just can't help but wonder why.

With science fiction, filmmakers have this platform to tell stories that are completely original and highly unique, why not take this platform and do it to tell stories that uplift the audience more so than depress. Look at Close Encounters of the Third Kind, pure science fiction, but told in such an uplifting manner that it feels fantastical and spiritual. Why not more films like this, or E.T. even?

I know this is simply a rant, and I do enjoy the dark and depressing sci-fi films, I just want to see more filmmakers exploring the other end of the science fiction spectrum.

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