A Month of Blogs Day 7 (Your Favorite Movie - THX 1138) {Spoilers}

 

THX 1138 (1971) by George Lucas was a vision like no other in it's time. It takes place in a large underground city in the far future. We never know why they went underground like this - if it was after a nuclear war or some kind of world killing event, it is not known.

The main character is THX 1138. People have a cereal number and not a name in this movie. His roommate LUH 3417 alters his daily medication that they are supposed to take to control the population. The pill she replaces is to suppress sexual desire. This leads to them having sex.

Being that everyone is monitored by the authorities, they are arrested for illegal sexual contact. THX is then put in a strange prison where all you can see around the holding aria is white.

The person who turned him in is locked up with him, and is in fact a sexual deviant himself, who wanted TXH for himself. The two of them manage to escape by literally just walking out of the white zone they are in. The door is not even locked. Rather a big plot hole there, being everything is monitored, but oh well.

They separate at this point and the other guy ends up being captured in an aria where the children are kept. THX and an escaped "hologram" actor try to take a car to get away. The hologram ends up dead at this point. The cars are capable of very high speeds and THX is chased to the edge of the city by the robot police.

At this point we see the mutant shell dwellers in the uninhabited aria of the outer shell of the city. It is here THX climbs up a very long ladder while the robot cop climbs after him. It is determined that the cost of the chase is too far over budget at this point and the cop is ordered to stop chasing him.

The moment THX escapes from the city to the surface of his world, he may just be the first person in a very long time to see the outside world. There is a wonderous scene where he sees the sun either setting or coming up for the first time. The sun is large and red and on the edge of the horizon, and it is very beautiful.

There are several things about this movie that where very much concerns at the time. First of is no one has a sense of self, they are just part of the city and do their job. There are no people you see that are old, disabled, over weight or any kind of deformity as well - they are all average intact and productive people.

The next thing is consumerism is thought to be therapeutic, and the items purchased are literally just disposed of. The disposable factor of this was coming to light in the 1970's and is now very much part of our reality. We learn from an early age to be consumers and that it is somehow good for us to do so.

The next thing is, no one has sex. People are grown in a lab and raised by the machines in a place just for children. They are taught with drugs and not by a teacher.

Robot cops are the next thing you may notice. The machines are controlled by the system and do just what they are told to do. Justice can be brutal as you see in a scene where THX is watching the hologram projector, and a cop is executing a person by hitting him with a metal baton. It is at this point  THX pleasures himself watching the violence. This denotes that not all emotion is controlled, but sexual function is to be on a personal level and not with another person.

Race discrimination is systematic. The hologram paraformers do nothing but dance in the nude. All of them are black and there are no non white people in the city that are employed or "free". Systematic racism is still a part of our society and I can't see it stopping no matter how we mask it with media imagery.

Justice is harsh and rather a farce. The trial seems to be totally for show. It may just be that your fate is decided before the "debate" on what to do with you goes forth. Rehabilitation or destruction is the only option. LUH is destroyed in the end. THX looks for her and the computer leads him to a jar with a fetus in it being grown in a lab with her designation on the jar.

The last one I will talk about is religion. There is much more to the movie that is social commentary to say the least, but this is getting very long. Religion is literally fake. It is a computer controlled set of responses in a video booth, and not even you talking to a priest. You talk to an image of God on the screen. Later you see the image is just a large picture in front of a TV camera. The responses are just played by the computer in response to what you are saying, and the advice is meaningless and empty of thought or emotion, it just leads to control and blatant consumerism.

To end this, I find it interesting that the collage film this movie was based on had about nothing in common with each other LOL. It is also a masterful work of art that shows just what our society could become if we allowed it to happen. The fact that we just blindly follow AI at this moment, and people can't even tell the difference between synthetic content and real content, tells me we might just end up like this in a couple hundred years.

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