Throughout this semester we have watched a variety of films that all pertain to some imagined future all more gloomy than our current existence. Some ends like the one seen in Melancholia, and the impending destruction of Earth as discussed in The World of Tomorrow were completely unavoidable by the human race and showed how we may decide to deal with the idea of an assured destruction of our entire species. As for the majority of the rest of the movies (save War of the Worlds) the human element is either the cause of the apocalypse or human actions can bring about a brighter future than the one portrayed in the film. Why are we so fascinated with the end of the world, what draws us in and is it beneficial for us to look to the future and imagine the worst case scenarios?
In the beginning (of the semester) there was Wall-E, Wall-E explores a future where we trash our planet, and while the trashiness of the planet is taken to the extreme it still causes its audience to think about ‘what if we ended up in the future imagined by pixar?’. This movie while not in our faces about the issues it tries to warn the present about, its existence could prevent the future from happening, as we avoid one apocalypse and look to the next trying to map out what choices we should make to form a brighter future. A few weeks later the apocalypse up to bat was 28 Days Later, in this movie a viral outbreak of “Rage” causes a cannibalistic, brutal end to all but a few humans in the U.K.. In this imagined end we ‘played God’ with infectious diseases that we did not fully understand, nor did we use the fullest precautions. With this imagined end in the mind of the public at large, many will take precautions and try to understand before acting on the realms that we do not fully understand, and before nobly saving test subjects from a lab maybe understand what the tests were and what dangers could come from unleashing the results upon the world.
If these imagined ends are beneficial, will taking their warning to heart prevent humanity from going extinct or losing itself back to its basest of instincts? Is thinking about the future in the worst case scenario beneficial to a brighter future?