Why dystopia?

Excellent spoiler-free discussion of the overwhelming trend to popular culture dystopia that is one of the themes of the new movie Tomorrowland, over at the Blue Collar, Black Tie blog…

“Can you name a single movie made in the last 40 years that depicts a future that’s better than the present? I can get as far as one of the possible futures in Back to the Future II, and then I come up empty. … Somewhere between the assassination of John F. Kennedy [1963] and the fall of the Berlin Wall [1989], the future [anticipated by our fictions] turned ugly. It stayed ugly for decades.”

Possibly it has something to do with the eliding of ‘the teenager’ into political rebellion in the 60s and 70s, with dystopia offering a much freer rein to imagine one roaming free of one’s parents strictures and their ‘crumbly old’ society. Plus, the threat of nuclear war offered a real and ever-present chance of civilisation’s collapse.