Future Worlds: An Introduction

In several articles I have spoken about the cinematic and rhetorical device of taking an element, filmic or social, to its extreme to produce a critical reading or fertile ground for critique. In essence all Sci-fi does this. It could be taking the threat of Communist invasion to a symbolic level where the Communists are replaced and the threat transformed into fearsome aliens from outer-space. It could also be taking the environment’s health to an extreme where in we are shown a society which can only feed its populace with a synthesised form of meat produced from deceased Humans. The setting, and the symbols used to produce or communicate this, in Sci-fi, reflect the central concern of the film because the setting of the film is created rather than reproduced. Although obviously the Notting Hill of Notting Hill (1999) is a filmic white-washed version of the geographical location it is only in film genres such as Sci-fi that the setting itself becomes truly and consistently symbolic and a reflection of the central concern of the film and an important vehicle of plot communication. In my ‘Future Worlds’ articles I have, and will, attempt to further communicate this point.

* A side note: the setting of Notting Hill is more important as an ideological study of the white-washing of a predominantly mixed race cosmopolitan area into an upper-middle class white English haven of yuppies and celebrities.

Published by

A.R. Duckworth

South Yorkshire England

3 thoughts on “Future Worlds: An Introduction”

  1. I assume you hail from London. While Notting Hill the movie is cinematic flim-flam, is not Notting Hill the place experiencing gentrification, which means the movie is not necessarily a “white-wash”?

  2. Although Notting Hill is now home to socialites such as Rebecca Loos and many rich professionals the area of Notting Hill that was used for filming, North Kensington, still has a poverty problem and a high rate of financially aided tenants. The problem with the film Notting Hill is not that it has white upper-middle class people filling the streets it is that it does white-wash a vibrant cosmopolitan area. In fact the area where the film was made has the largest Moroccan population in Britain and the film doesn’t represent this.

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