Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bureaucracy, how bad can it really get?

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.

1 comment:

  1. When you mentioned Modern Times it got me to thinking about quite the opposite effect. I think that by having two movies over fifty years apart depicting similar problems we could say that perhaps both then and now we are over-dramatizing the problem. After all here we are in the "future" as it where and we are still not in the nightmarish scenario so often depicted in film. You might argue that because these films warn of impending disaster we have averted them, but i suspect it is much more likely that it was never that problematic to begin with.