Lessons From ‘Elysium’: Go Back to Huge Space Colonies’ Idealistic Roots
In Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the ancestor of humanity throws a bone into the air, which cinematically becomes a spacecraft (an orbiting weapon) sharing the sky with a rotating space station. That’s the bone I have to pick with “Elysium” writer-director Neill Blomkamp.
There’s not much about “Elysium” I don’t love. It’s an important, fun, gutsy film (see my “Elysium” movie review on space.com). But to this longtime space enthusiast (read: “geek”), Blomkamp’s appropriation of a ring-world as an icon of evil feels, well, inappropriate. Turning a spin-stabilized, gravity-simulating space settlement into a supercilious, off-Earth Beverly Hills is a gross perversion of a great idea. (See, I told you: “geek.”)
But maybe that’s exactly Blomkamp’s point. [See photos from the dystopian sci-fi film “Elysium”]
“I tend to think a lot about the topic of wealth discrepancy,” Blomkamp said in a statement. “I think the further we go down the path that we are on, the more the world will represent the one in ‘Elysium’… In Mexico City, in Johannesburg, in Rio, you have pockets of great wealth, gated communities, amidst a sea of poverty. And I think that’s where the cities of the US are going to end up, too.”