Thursday, May 15, 2008

Solyent Green

Last night was a good night on the Turner Classic Movies channel in Singapore. I switched over to the channel just in time for Solyent Green, which was later followed by Westworld and Forbidden Planet and The Invisible Boy. I planned to watch the first two, but not the last (because I have the DVD of those). As it turned out, I got interrupted just as Westworld was beginning, so only got to see Solyent Green last night.

I enjoyed watching the 1973 Charlton Heston action sci-fi flick. It has plenty in it that might not be appreciated by contemporary audiences, but I think the slower pace allows for a more nuanced film than most of today's movies. There are several montages that are absolutely beautiful.

The "mystery" that Thorn is trying to unravel becomes obvious early on, I think. It is clear what is going into making up the new food source that people in 2022 are supposed to be living on. As others have pointed out, the revelation might would have been more shocking in its day. In more recent films, like The Matrix, the same device has been used to a very different effect.

I think the dystopian film is quite well done, though I don't think Heston is particularly good. I do appreciate how the dystopian society is represented though, and feel that perhaps a part of the reason for the lack of sympathy we feel with Thorn is more because of that society than anything else.

Overall, I think Solyent Green is one of those must-see films for any real fan of science fiction on film. Watch out for it on all those channels that carry classic films. It is certain to show up on those from time to time.
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