Cyberpunk Monday: Alphaville

Often I look for new dystopian movies to watch and this one piqued my interest a couple of weeks ago. On the back of the DVD cover, Jean-Luc Godard (the director of the movie) is quoted saying that a story only needs a girl and a gun. And that is the essence of the movie, because when you remove all the dystopia it’s really just a film-noir with a gorgeous femme fatale and a man in a trenchcoat waving his gun around.

Of course Alphaville is also a dystopian thriller at heart. In short, the main character Lemmy Caution is on a mission to destroy Alphaville and its controlling computer Alpha 60. Love, poetry and emotion are forbidden and considered illogical in the city. And get this, people acting illogically are being executed in a swimming pool by beautiful girls and this is all supervised by supposedly higher officials of Alphaville.

An amazing aspect of the film is that no fancy special effects or futuristic decors are being used to bring the dystopian world of Alphaville to life. That is quite an achievement and I think they really nailed the vibe.

I appreciate certain parts of Alphaville like the setting, vibe and the fact that is not a fancy sci-fi flick. Personally I think the story and the ending falls a bit flat and doesn’t leave an lasting impression on me. I haven’t seen any other Godard movies and haven’t read anything besides him dating the actress, but that could explain the rather lackluster ending.

This is not a review, because I think that Alphaville is a film that gets better every single time I will watch it. So, until next time!


Cyberpunk Monday: Serial Experiments: Lain – my first thoughts

I’m a big fan of dystopian/cyberpunk movies such as Blade Runner, Dark City, Akira and Ghost in The Shell. I’m on a quest to watch as much cyberpunk related stuff and I noticed that Japanese shows tend to dabble in the cyberpunk genre more often than western shows and a bit better as far as I am concerned. After a few clicks I stumbled on Serial Experiments: Lain and I bought the blu-ray and watched it within two days.

One quick remark after watching it

This 90’s anime series is more scary to watch in this day and age than it probably was twenty years ago. SE: Lain predicts and depicts the thin line between the real world and the internet (In SE: Lain it is called the Wired). The side characters including her classmates and her father are warning Lain not to see the fake world as the real world. The show has definitely a 90’s vibe in computer technology in the use of many wires and big computer systems, not really representative of this time, but the themes in the show hit way harder now.

Wires, wires and more wires.

Definitely an interesting watch and it feels like something that could grow with multiple viewings. Maybe I get back to some of the themes of the show in another blog. First I need to process of all it.