Good day to all the Iggles and Miggles out there. April has been a great month for the Cinema Club. Our chosen theme was Earth Day/Being Green and thanks to the brilliant suggestion by MsDuh, Soylent Green was our Green themed movie.
I’ll do my best to be spoiler free but I find it hard to believe that there is anyone left who doesn’t know the big reveal, even if you haven’t seen this 1973 film. But if you’re completely anti-spoiler, you may want to skip this post entirely.
Soylent Green takes place in the year 2022 when the world is completely overpopulated. Thanks to industrialization, the planet no longer has enough resources to keep up with demand and population growth. Most of the population lives in devastating poverty, sleeping in the streets and stairways. Working technology is a luxury if you can find it. Few are lucky enough to be employed and even fewer are lucky enough to be wealthy. A majority of the population lives on rations provided by the Soylent Corporation, nothing more than colored wafers handed out each day. Soylent Green is the newest product, more nutritious and made from high-energy plankton.
Charlton Heston plays Detective Thorn who investigates the murder of a wealthy man. Through his investigation he learns the truth about the Soylent Corporation.
Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuuun.
When watching the film you have to keep in mind that it was made in the early 70’s. So in addition to the crazy 70’s trends, the graphics aren’t what we’re used to. And I hope that it isn’t terribly distracting for people but it’s good to get yourself into the right mindset before watching the film.
“Well, what a slightly disturbing movie. I guess I kinda saw it coming, but it’s still a disgusting thought.” – MsDuh
That’s truth, delivered fresh to your face. The concept of the movie is disturbing and I even found it humorous in a dark way. Major deaths in the film are because after knowing what Soylent Corp. is doing, the thought is too unbearable.
“Knowing the twist from the beginning, I didn’t expect it to comes as slowly and subtly in the plot. The writing was really great, and the photography is really original.” – Clémence
The movie was a little slow but definitely steady. I think the director wanted to take the time to really show how overpopulation and industrialization burns out resources. And I think there was a lot of emphasis on how much of a gap there is between the wealthy and poor and the effect of poverty. The photography of the film really plays up this concept.
“To be honest, I was left feeling kind of underwhelmed. It isn’t a terrible film or anything, I just think maybe it is a bit dated. A classic for its time. Plus, it didn’t help that I already knew what the twist was, so there was no shock value for me.” – MollyTornado
Unfortunately I think this stands true with any cult or classic film. The ending of the film has been poked at in countless popular shows, like the Simpsons or Futurama.
I felt the same way when I saw Star Wars for the first time in college. I knew the Vader/Luke twist so well that I find lie detector results from Maury to be more shocking. But I bet when people saw this in the theatre, they were close to losing their minds!
Personally, I enjoyed the film and I’m glad I watched it. The action scenes were corny and the fighting was overacted. The reveal was surprisingly tame. I think we’re so used to films being graphic that when Heston’s character learned the truth, I expected a big stomach turning scene. But in a way I appreciate that it wasn’t. Instead your mind makes up the scene for you, which is often times much worse.
The concept and story were original and thought provoking. Aside from the message about overindustrialization, the director touches on sexism and women as furniture. It’s lead to a great discussion on the forums.
It’s a classic film and I would encourage everyone to check it out. Even if you know the secret, it’s cool to see how it plays out in the film.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussions and on Twitter for Cinema Club this month! May’s filmed will be announced soon, I hope you’ll watch it with us!
Stay classy, IGGPPC!