I had already speculated on the ‘opportunity’ a shared event creates and used films to illustrate my point – one article being Films, real life twisted or just fantasy? . I’ll do so again here though, because mnay don’t seem to realise what kind of power that has, in the collective psyche of people, and how it can be used to further mould and shape society.
The Island (2005) – a stark view of something that is discussed in my piece Perhaps, where people are bred as replacement organs for rich people, but they are kept underground with no knowledge of the real world or their true purpose. Instead, they ‘imprint’ them and condition them to believe that there was a catastrophe, a virus in fact. And the world outside is so toxic, they have to stay down there, hoping one day to win their ‘lottery’ and go to a pathogen free island where ‘you can live a normal life’. The whole society functions on that premise, until someone starts questioning things, as is the way. But I found it interested how the overseer (Sean Bean in this film), had quite a well-developed God complex going on, and took great delight in explaining how they were bred to believe they were special and only educated to the level of a 15 year old, which seemed to keep them in line for the most part. Seems a bit like how we are treated don’t you think? Or is it just me that sees it?
Book of Eli – this is a great film, well done, atmospheric, gritty. And is about a disaster happening, although it is a vague briefly mentioned ‘event’ that was a bright flash, which blinded lots of people, and then everything went to shit. We step into the story after 30 years has elapsed, and it’s worth a watch. Even just for Gary Oldman’s brilliant portrayal of someone obsessed with finding a bible. Because with that, he knows he can control people, even more so that shown. Because what we are led to believe is, if everything did go to shit, or there was a real danger to behold, that we would all scatter and try and save ourselves with no thought for humanity. Apart from maybe one or two lone ‘heroes’ to save the day or give hope. The film The Road would be an even more desolate and grim look at what they would like to think people would turn into. I don’t doubt the capability, but I question the continued conditions that would be necessary to create such a landscape.
There are a few films I will mention together here as they have something similar to me – Resident Evil, Greenland, The Day after Tomorrow, 2012, Outbreak, Deep Impact – and I guess any of the films that have ‘natural disaster’ or virus as the headlining event, with huge amounts of drama unfolding, survivors and a new horizon often at the end, not always a good one, as Resident evil showed, in a never-ending cycle of rinse and repeat. They like that method, and to be honest, if it works, why not. Gets a bit boring though if you happen to notice it. In real life and films.
If people have been exposed to the same information, education, propaganda, media and conditioning, it makes it much easier to make that group accept something, or act in the way you would like with the correct triggers, if you can get most people on board. And anyone not playing ball, gets pushed out, excluded, or shouted down. It also helps people to feel familiar with each other, gives them a social bond and sort of identity in that place and time by ‘experiencing’ an event.
But there will now be a ‘shared collective experience’ that seems so useful a tool in many a movie. And helpful to separate again
Dark City – is a film I mention time and time again, if you haven’t watched it, I recommend it. But this movie is the inverted version of the above, where the do the opposite to people. Give them no shared history, or events, or place in time, and tampering with their memories and identities, leading to lost and rather robotic people. Until one person ‘wakes up’ during a memory procedure, and has to unravel the very odd set up and ‘people’ organising it all.
So, what happens I wondered, if you merge the two. Creating a shared event that we are all bound by, but with no real timeline or end so no closure to move forward from. This could cause a possible destabilisation of being trapped in the same event continuously, without said event actually continuing to occur. And with details being changed, definitions rewritten it’s easy to see how some people might get confused, and start to feel a bit lost. Changing names, rules, areas, time, thoughts, futures and people. It all has a purpose, even if you can’t see it yet, it all paves the way for something else.