So I can tell I’m starting to come out of my latest huge depressive episode. I know this because I feel like writing, and ideas are actually coming to me again. Right now, I and my friend who is a short film maker are collaborating on a new project. I’ve never worked with him before, but I’ve been impressed with his work before. I’m writing the script, and he’s directing the short film.
The genre of the project?
Science fiction, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone who has been following my blog. And the more specific genre: cyberpunk/tech noir.
I wonder what it is about that genre that fascinates me. Well, for one thing, movies and novels within it tend to be pretty good: Blade Runner, The Matrix, Neuromancer… even Tron: Legacy is cyberpunk and it was a decent film (very visually pleasing, though I had some problems with the plot), probably the only Disney film ever to fall under this genre.
But I think there’s more to it than that. The futuristic cities–bright neon, flying cars–are pretty darn cool and make for beautiful and amazing visual, even they are always dystopias. And there’s the element of human nature that cyberpunk encompasses: humans are greedy, selfish, simple as that (even the cops are always corrupt or at best within the gray region of morality).
And it’s a genre that appeals to the imagination. Every work is an exercise in thought about what could possibly arise if technology does advance to the point of true AI. Whether the machines will be used as slaves for humans (as in Blade Runner) or the other way around (as in The Matrix), it’s an interesting to concept to explore.
The central question of most cyberpunk/tech noir works seems to be this: what makes us human?
And this is a question not easily answered. But these films and books certainly try.