Dystopian Timeline

Postmodern Dystopian settings often consist of post apocalyptic worlds in which a totalitarian government rules over society. Many Dystopian films reflect 'real time' fears or problems within society, therefore enabling the audience to relate to what's going on. As the main theme, these societal fears are portrayed to the viewers as a causation of a futuristic catastrophe. Having researched into the history of the genre, it appears that the main subject of societal 'fears' & 'problems' have seemingly differed, depending on the 'current' state of affairs and real time fears. Not only this, but the film's themes also appear to illustrate humanity's ever changing ideologies regarding what the future is going to be like, this of which has also reflected 'current' affairs, having researched into the genre's history.

Usually the narrative begins with the disruption of the equilibrium, the film will then continue to revolve around the characters attempts to resolve it. The typical ambiguity of the dystopian genre challenges Todorov's theory, in a very postmodernist style, as the equilibrium is not restored in many dystopian films.

1920-03-13 23:37:24

PRE WWI - 1920's

During this time period, motion pictures were known mostly as visual art, until motion pictures with sound became available. Although the subject of dystopia in films was rare, due to being prior the Postmodernism movement, those that were available included focuses such as: fear of mass production & totalitarianism.

1927-03-13 23:37:24


A significant and specific example of 1920's dystopia being Metropolis (1927). A silent film and the first science fiction-urban dystopia film having been made. Metropolis was the first motion picture to involve ideas of alternative realities, and explores the totalitarian governed theme of a division of class.ory info here

1950-01-01 23:37:24

POST WAR - 1940's/50's/60's

Having just faced two world wars, it is typical that the extreme societal fear and depression left in aftermath would be reflected throughout all kinds of media - particularly film. Themes involved in dystopia during these era's include; Cold war fears, nuclear Armageddon, fear of invasion, and post apocalyptic themes.

1951-09-28 23:37:24

The Day The Earth Stood Still

The Day The Earth Stood Still reflects themes such as 'fear of invasion' and 'armageddon'. The film follows a humanoid alien of whom arrives on earth to deliver a message to the human race, threatening to obliterate earth's existence entirely unless the violence of humanity is ended by peace. Implying ideologies that the future of earth is in the hands of humanity.

1968-04-03 23:37:24

Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes is a science fiction film set on future planet earth, in which apes have evolved into a closely human-like species having developed higher intelligence and speech. The film reflects issues of: fear of invasion and armageddon, with post apocalyptic factors. Regarding era, it also reflects 60's issues of racism, evolution and intolerance - due to the brutality of the apes.

1970-01-01 00:00:00


These decade's seemingly illustrated more technological issues, as humanity had obviously started progressing in technology rapidly. Issues featured within dystopian films involved: fears of technological advancements, genetic modification, computer & robotic power, and authoritarian states & totalitarianism.

1982-06-25 00:00:00

Blade Runner

The futuristic dystopian set film Blade Runner, is set in a future Los Angeles. The film explores ideologies of man-made technological advancements turning on us, resulting in the possibility of the end of humanity. Therefore the possible destruction of the human race due to our own fault. Genetically engineered species of human robot called 'Replicants' are being hunted down and destroyed, following their banishment from earth after their destructive nature turned them on humanity. The film involves typical 80's themes of: fear of technological advancement, genetic modification, as well as robotic power.

1984-10-26 00:00:00

The Terminator

Typically featuring issues such as robotic power, technological advancement, and alien invasion, The Terminator follows a human-looking cyborg who is sent to earth to assassinate a waitress who's unborn son will lead humanity into a war against robotic machines.

1984-12-14 00:00:00

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four illustrates a totalitarian future society, in which all individuals are under complete control and constant video surveillance, therefore lacking any form of freedom entirely. The film features post war themes, (with the novel having been written in the 40's), and is significantly fueled by the idea of totalitarian/authoritarian controlled societies.

1990-01-01 22:35:33

1990's & Upwards

Nowadays as we are continually progressing in societal ideologies and problems, the fears expressed within postmodern dystopian films are far more broadened, as well as re-using past themes. Much of the dystopian depression illustrated within these films is seemingly due to humanity's self destruction, as well as invasion from other planets and environmental disaster. On a smaller scale of 'fear' expressed, themes involve: genetics, fears of cloning, spread of disease resulting in apocalyptic circumstances. As well as the more typical subject of alien invasion, the most recent and new fear expressed through film is environmental/natural disaster, which often still relates back to human self destruction.

2003-06-27 22:35:33

28 Days Later

The film explores themes of post apocalypse, genetic disease spread, and a complete lack of social structure. 28 Days Later follows the journey of a young adult who wakes from a coma to find England in a post apocalyptic state, due to a virus escaping a lab, spreading throughout society and taking a zombie-like effect upon humans, resulting in wiping out the majority of England.

2012-03-23 22:35:33

The Hunger Games

Set in a typically dystopian future alternate world, Panem, controlled by a totalitarian government, The Hunger Games reflects post-war themes due to it's authoritarian setting. The film also explores themes of class division, and like Nineteen Eighty-Four, society lacks any form of freedom, and is under constant control. Split into multiple districts, with the rich maintaining all control at the 'capitol', the poor are a source of entertainment being forced to take part in a televised show called 'the hunger games'. In which a total of 24 contestants from the districts must fight until death. This seemingly animalistic behavior may reflect aspects of humanity as a whole, regarding the theme of 'self destruction'. The film also involves issues such as: technological advancement,

Dystopian Timeline

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