January 7th, 2020


Soylent Green

Over the New Year's break Turner Classic Movies had a brief interlude of futuristic movies. It included "Soylent Green," "Logan's Run," and "Westworld." I thought I had read that "Soylent Green" was supposed to take place in 2020. I was a bit early. It was 2022. So how well did the futurists of the 1970's predict the dystopian future? Not all that great. I know I wrote something about this years ago concerning how we seem to be having so many negative dystopian movies e.g. "The Hunger Games," "The Road," even "The Walking Dead." But now I see that the movies about the future simply reflect the feelings of the present. What were the big issues of the 70's? Over-population, pollution, famine. I'm sure most sci-fi movies of the 80's had nuclear war and the proliferation of computers/robots. The 2022 of "Soylent Green" had New York with a population of 40 million. Nope. There's hardly a computer in sight. Everything is still done with books. Food is scarce especially anything fresh. Global markets have made it possible to have fresh food from around the world any time of the year. The movie got some things right like the huge divide between the rich and the poor. That will probably continue to be an issue until some massive revolution takes place (don't hold your breath). It also hinted that the climate would be drastically changed. We're still working on that one. That will probably continue to be a reoccurring theme for years to come. As for Soylent Green being people, I think the advancements in artificial meat will make that unnecessary. Sorry to all the voreaphiles out there.