What Colour Is Your Future?
Despite what certain phone networks tell you, there are various options for colouring your personal future. Using pop culture and barely solicited opinion, the tools of my generation, I will present to your eyes just a few of these options.
BROWN (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Scavenge in Misery with a Dog)
- Are you natural loner?
- Do you prefer the company of a select few, as opposed to the crowd?
- Do you only really look out for you?
- Statistically-incorrect belief that you will be the only one to survive a mass extinction event?
Welcome to your future baby, you misanthropic madman you!
In this colour of future, mankind has suffered some sort of horrible Bad Thing. In Mad Max, we’ve run out of oil (ha ha ha ha what a ridiculous idea) and as such, civilisation as we know it has become Australia. Other colours of this future follow this same basic formula, only in some cases, the future has become New Jersey and in others, certain parts of Manchester.
To survive this future, the protagonist has become a loner, a being dedicated wholly to survival, with their preferred company being no one at all, a cool dog, or a family member they kind of have to look after they guess, God, it’s such a drag.
|Something people watch for entertainment?|
Usually this destruction is a result of man’s hubris, the message of these stories is usually; “YO, DON’T EAT THE PLANET MANG, NAH FOR REAL”, as in Mad Max and Wall-E, but can also range too; “Science can be dangerous! Man kind’s arrogance has led us to destruction!” (Fallout, I Am Legend) and “All life is a pointless, short, harsh struggle for survival and you will be miserable” (The Road), among others.
Your foes in this colour of landscape can simply be nature herself, wild animals, or the most dangerous game of all; man. Crippling loneliness and the associated mental disorders must also be combatted, lest you do nothing but set up giant, complicated traps to capture and kill your former patients, while memorising the film Shrek, as in the brownest film ever, I Am Legend.
|Cure us of our sepia Doctor, we beg you|
GREY (Or, Welcome to the future, it looks like now, but with more lights, and no one is happy)
- Do you yearn for the progress of space travel and wonderful technology, yet also harbour a strange yearning for the pipes and steam aesthetic of the past?
- Do you often feel like you are the only one who really knows what’s going on?
- Do you think that humanity is in control, or at the mercy of, powers which can crush us at any time?
Welcome to Grey Future!
In this, the vaguest of futures, no one is happy for long, shady corporations or militaries run everything, and technology seems to have stagnated, design-wise, since the early 20th century. Reasons for this are usually economic collapse, globalisation, and general capitalism. Because script writers just turn on the news apparently.
|The name's Sol- I mean Plissken.|
The lead, often a happy(ish) employee at the start of the film, is getting on with their job, when due to the machination of the powers that be, they discover a horrible secret. Think of Ripley just trying to do her job when her idiot workmates drag in a clearly contaminated John Hurt, or Sam Rockwell’s lonely moon worker, as he is slowly being groomed by Kevin Spacey’s voice.
Go watch Moon.
|Being Robocop also works.|
As such, expect villains in suit and uniforms, I’m including Alien because of the aesthetic, and let’s be fair, the real villain isn’t the animalistic Alien, who just be out there, doing what he do, but Weyland-Yutani, whose annoying suit Carter Burke nearly dooms the whole mission in Aliens with his insatiable 80’s lust for money.
|Look at this fuck. It's like a Young Tory bred with Scrooge.|
BLUE (and Silver, Or; Welcome to the future! Now it is all shiny and whizzy, but it’s also still evil.)
- Do you love every Apple product you are able to form a conceptual grasp of?
- Is your strategy of choice in RTSs to research the shit out of everything?
- Do you love science and technology, but don’t trust governments to use it?
BA BA BAM BABY, IT’S THE APPLE iFUTURE
|The camera is terrible though|
Welcome to 'the Future' future where everything is futuristic and is covered in screens, curves and CGI. Humanity has become masters of the universe, comfortable and happy, supported by system that nobody questions, because, why would they?
But that system may well be mankind’s downfall, as the protagonists must struggle against their former allies to open the eyes of the people. Because script writers just open the Bible apparently.
|May contain blue.|
Often the most heavy-handed of the colours, the message can be as on the nose as “Slavery is bad huh? And dehumanising people? Don’t do that.” This is the case in I, Robot. This extends to the slightly more nuanced, I suppose, “Don’t judge people too quickly", or "police profiling doesn’t work” of Minority Report.
They can also be vague and nonsensical, a sort of moral warning essentially used as wrapping for cool space effects and pew pew pew whizz bang wow!
|Look at that alien make up.|
The future of 'the Future' future will be decided in a futuristic fashion with lasers, or technobabble, or the charismatic lead Tom Cruising his way to the big bad, or Will Smithly sassing the big bad. You can pretty much interchange parts of Minority Report, I, Robot and Star Trek Into Darkness for this bit, the heavy handed messages tended to sort of brush over how plots actually work.
|Will Smith is off-screen shouting the word 'Converse' over and over,|
NEON FUTURE( Or, the best fucking future oh my god)
- Are you cool?
- Are you classic, yet original?
- Are you fun and a bit silly?
You’re the 80’s future my man, sit on it.
|Now with Hover-Thatcher|
80’s future films are a broad and wonderful genre, but can basically be summed up like Fallout, if instead of the 50’s, culture had decided to just stick with the whole neon and colours mess of the mid-to-late 80’s. Back to the Future 2, Blade Runner, Fifth Element, Pacific Rim, Tron, etc. all have a few unifying factors.
|Such as dress sense that would kill Macklemore.|
If you’re going to survive in 80’s future, you’ve got to be cool, with wise cracks and a world-weary demeanour. Look at Deckard, all sass and sighs. Marty McFly, who arrives in a wonderful futurescape and just bails because he can’t be bothered. Korben Dallas, who navigates the pastels and plastic of Fifth Element slapping people with his gun or his dick (metaphorically).
|Oh you know, just hanging out on some clingfilm in my orange plastic vest. What up?|
You’re also going to need some sunglasses, this future is bright, you’re contending with glaring neon lights, even brighter clothes, and patterns that would make even the most dedicated of Fresh Prince cos players hesitate. Sky high billboards shouting at you as you pass, roving boom boxes and police sirens, this future is stimulus heavy, and there is surely a violent underground resistance movement who just want to sit at home with a book while complaining about people who drink and try drugs.
|PARTY ON WAYNE|
HONOURABLE MENTION: ROBOCOP
Robocop kicks so much arse. It is all colours of films. Robocop, barely disguised Jesus metaphor, comes back to life and cleanses Detroit of it’s sins.
You want your blasted cityscapes? Look no further than the disused and falling apart factory that Robocop fights his killers in.
You want a grey, dilapidated city, filled with dangerous criminals? RoboJesus is there, and he will shoot it in the dick.
|Millions of neckbeards cried out "Misandry!" and were suddenly silenced.|
Want some strangely contemporary industrial settings? Robocop has them.
Neon signs? Robocop.
80’s clubs and hairdos?
You got it. Robocop
|And THE LORD said: "Whoa man that is totally cool he stabbed the dad from That 70's Show in the face"|