Devastating, unfortunate and miserably inhuman futures. Often science fiction presents dystopian realities predictive from stories that emerge as an x-ray of the social present and end up highlighting the catastrophic future of men and women. During this week the 52nd edition of the International Fantastic Film Festival of Sitges (Barcelona) whose leitmotiv is Mad max, by George Miller, one of the dystopian works par excellence of the big screen.
To analyze how our future could be and also to dissect human behavior in our current era, we propose five readings of mythical science fiction novels who have also had their adaptation to the big screen:
The first recommendation is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, from Philip K. Dick, one of the most prolific authors of the genre. Often better known as Blade Runner because of the confusion with the iconic film of Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford
Set in a future 2021, after a world war that has exterminated millions of people, the novel follows in the footsteps of the Rick Deckard bounty hunter whose mission is to find rebel droids and remove them from the city. Their task is complicated when new models appear, the Nexus-6, practically indistinguishable from human beings.
The next novel is Farenheit 451, title that refers to the temperature at which the paper of the books burns. Written by Ray bradbury, the story revolves around Guy Montag, a disciplined firefighter who, along with his bodymates, burns all the books, since they are forbidden to be considered a cause of discord and suffering.
At the same time, the Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department dedicates its efforts to tracking and exterminating those dissidents who still retain and read literary works. Farenheit 451 had film adaptation by the hand of Francois Truffaut In 1966 and last year the HBO channel premiered a new version, which received the Emmy nomination for best telefilm.
Third, another classic: Planet of the Apes from Pierre Boulle. It may have one of the most amazing final twists in the history of literature, but no matter how well known it is, we will not reveal it to virgin readers. The novel starts with the landing of three astronauts on a planet that seems identical to Earth.
Now, they soon discover that in this world humans are wild beasts and apes have developed intelligence and a very advanced system of communication and social order. Ulises Mérou will try to discover the fearsome secret of this civilization. Released in 1968, the film version of Franklin J. Schaffner It is one of the masterpieces of the genre. Years later, Tim Burton He directed a much freer and less celebrated version.
Another dystopian future is the one that raises I'm legend, whose protagonist, Robert Neville, is the last survivor of a bacteriological war that has ravaged the Earth. The novel of Richard Matheson It raises a desolate world in which the rest of humanity has become vampires.
The routine life of this anithéroe consists in eliminating the maximum possible number of these bloodthirsty beings by day and defending themselves during the night of their siege. A reflection on loneliness and morality in terms of good and evil that had its adaptation to the cinema starring Will Smith.
Finally, I could not miss in this selection Mechanical orange, one of the most controversial and revolutionary science fiction works of all time. Since its publication in 1962, the novel by Anthony Burgess has caused admiration and scandal in equal parts, as well as the homonymous film of Stanley Kubrick.
Both the book and the film present a horrifying vision of the future written with a fantastic invented language, the nadsat, the colloquial jargon spoken by the leading teenagers. Alex and his drugs They are at ease and they exercise violence in a stark way in defense of their individual freedom regardless of the collective order. The story addresses social reintegration from the perspective of the rot of the prison, judicial and political system. The film, which caused great controversy at its premiere in 1971, was nominated for 4 Oscars.