Exploring future scenarios::

Soylent Green [1973]

*An exploration into the American dystopian thriller film [1973] for its early addressal the long-term impacts of unsustainable practice, and envisioned future of the 2020’s.



Solyent Green is centred around a dystopian future, one characterised by dying oceans and year-round humidity due to the greenhouse effect, resulting in suffering from pollution, poverty, overpopulation, euthanasia and depleted resources. Released in 1973, the award-winning film is based on a future New York, America’s capital in 2022 – a place where nothing works or runs anymore, the only thing to have remained – are humans.

Soylent Green – Trailer

*My research::

When researching film, television and literature set in the future. I was instantly drawn to the opening clip of the official Soylent Green [1973] trailer – where sci-fi sound effects accompanies the reminisce of a bold typeface, appearing like data analytics on-screen and creating an end vision symbolic of skyscrapers in New York City.

Not only did the conventional sci-fi graphics capture my attention, but the undeniably prevalent narrative- debuting American citizens gathering on the streets, uniting in panic – searching for what they need most…Soylent Green – an exhausted material. When watching the trailer I could not help but associate the context with that of the current, global pandemic surrounding Covid-19. In the UK the only commercial, public spaces left open are that of supermarkets and sellers of other “essential” products; over the preceding weeks, supermarket aisles have been left stripped of products, as individuals have frantically mass purchased enough supplies to get them through the foreseeable future. As of the current, stock and produce are limited according to specific supermarket, online delivery services are on the brink of closure, and widespread product limitations have been enforced by key market players- to ensure that all have access to products.

Alike the current socio-cultural and geo-political agenda across the globe; shared narrative driven by the healthcare crisis [Covid-19], in Soylent Green there is a drive to find out the secret ingredient behind the product –> what is it made of? why has it been stopped?. Questions similar to these are applicable to the deadly virus prevailing the world –> why is it killing people? why are there no cures? why have vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease not emerged? Both Soylent Green and Coronavirus have led to the mass disruption of society, driving large gatherings of unsettled individuals to form in public places.

In researching Soylent Green I would like to experiment further with creating some text-heavy, credits-like visuals and curate some additional short-clips, utilising the power of auditory elements to create a narrative, and set the scene. It would also be possible to curate some trailer-inspired short clips to debut the outlined macro trends for AW 21/22. Meanwhile, I will continue to look at sci-fi TV shows and films for visual inspiration. I find it particularly stimulating looking at the way the future is envisioned, and fabricated for entertainment purposes.

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