Near the beginning of the semester, our discussion focused on technology’s role, and whether or not a Utopia was possible (with or without technology). As time has progressed and technology has evolved, so have the rulebooks associated with it. New technological intricacies have been a boon for fine print, litigation, paperwork, etc. This problem is nothing new, and was explored brilliantly in the film Brazil (1985). This film is best summed up as “George Orwell meets Monty Python.” Basically, humanity has become so heavily bureaucratized that only the most foolhardy and incompetent people are willing to legally work (many of whom are employed by “Central Services.”) The following scene does a great job of showing just how bad things have gotten.
You know things have gone downhill when even the heating and cooling guys have gone rogue. This battle between the buffoonish authority figures and their minions, and the competent “terrorists” continues on throughout the film. The parallels with earlier works, such as Modern Times, are quickly evident. Having two films made 50 years apart still depict the same issue so well speaks volumes about the philosophical significance of matters concerning technological utopia.