Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Zero Population Growth

Or ZPG as it is sometimes known, is a pretty sweet "dystopian future" film from the 70's.

The plot is that it is the future and, surprise surprise, there are too many people and not enough resources. The world's solution? Sterilization? Euthanasia? Nope. They decide to kill off a generation by passing a law that forbids any births for the next thirty years. The body of the film takes place 8 years after the law is put on the books and already people are baby crazy. A woman, surprise surprise, really wants a baby, so she has one and then her and her husband have to hide it from the rest of the world.

I really liked this movie (apart from the fact that it is one of my main philosophies in life) because I think it is really creative.

First of all, this movie is totally where Chuck Palahniuk got his idea for "daytimers and nighttimers" in his book Rant. It is also where "Children of Men" gets it's ending and gloomy "end of the world" feel. Asides from being ripped off, this movie is great because I really like the way that they showed the world.

There are no trees. There are no animals. You can't breathe the air and you can't see anything because the smog is out of control. The crime of birth is the highest crime and the sentence is death by suffocation for the mother, father and baby. They lower this dome over you and slowly suffocate you, giving you 12 hours to think about what you have done. There are these abortion machines in the bathroom that the women use after they have sex. People adopt the scariest My Buddy/Chuckie Doll robot things. The museums are really shitty and you pretty much only get to go once in your life. The museum is filled with shoddily taxidermied animals (mostly pets or livestock), some plants (about 5 square feet of them) and the museum's main focus. How people lived back in the day (the 70's). You can see what dentists did, how people used to pump gas and drive cars and how we use to shove our faces full of food! There are no books, no music, and you go to the library to watch videos. Old people live in their own designated area, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot, but it's pretty thorough in it's bleakness.

But this movie isn't perfect. It has all of the 70's future dystopian society standbys such as:
People eating "food" out of tubes that look like toothpaste
The always present and ever incessant "big brother" monitoring device in the sky
Everyone rocks a one piece uni-tard jumpsuit thing with a Nauru collar.
And my favorite part of all movies like this, the 1960's "futuristic" furniture that everyone owned back then. I also found the movie to be a bit lazy in the fact that everything from the museum was from the 70's. Like the world just went from "shag carpeting and bell bottoms" to "we cant breathe and there is no food". I think they could have been a little more creative and tried to fill in the gaps instead of stopping with what they already knew.

As I watched the movie all I was thinking "would a world without kids be so bad?".

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