Thursday, November 6, 2008

THX 1138

THX 1138 is a 1971 George Lucas film. It depicts a dystopic society in which the population is controlled through desensitizing medications dispersed by the government and a strong dehumanized police force. The characters in the film are all named using combinations of letters and numbers. When two main characters stop taking their medication, they begin to feel emotion and develop love, which makes them targets of the state.

The schism between the population and the police force is visually indicated through use of color in costume. The populace wears all white and have shaven heads, while the police force wear silver face masks and black outfits.

An interesting feature of this film is the state-sanctioned confessional-style rooms in which the characters may enter to speak with an illuminated image of Christ, which responds with pre-recorded answers at regular intervals to simulate the presence of an actual person. The image of Christ used for this purpose is from Hans Memling's 1478 painting Christ Giving His Blessing. This image is referred to as OMM 0910.

Just imagine this calming image, softly backlit, with a soothing voice reassuring you: "My time is yours...Yes, I understand...You are a true believer. Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses. Thou art a subject of the divine. Created in the image of man, by the masses, for the masses.
Let us be thankful we have an occupation to fill. Work hard; increase production, prevent accidents, and be happy. Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy more and be happy."

1971 trailer.

Official website for the film, which creates an interactive environment indicative of the film.

At top: original 1971 poster. Below: Recent poster for a re-release of the film.

No comments: