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Directed By Steven Spielberg (AI), Minority report was a film adaption of the celebrated short story by Philip K. Dick. The main premise of this sci-fi film is that by the year, 2054, Washington D.C is now the safest place to live, thanks to the Pre-crime Department, a taskforce of elite officers who exploit the predictive abilities of the three captive “precogs” to arrest the guilty and saves the victims before the crime is committed. The protagonist, Officer Anderston, whose own son was murdered, has a strong belief in the system and acts to prevent others from suffering the same pain he endured. However, Officer Anterson finds himself in a dilemma when the precogs predict the premeditated murder perpetuated by Anderston himself.Technocracy in Minority Report
Technology permeates through every sector of the society in minority, be it the state government or the entertainment industry.
Unlike most of the films this section, Minority Report’s setting is ambiguous such that it is difficult to discern whether it is utopian or dystopian. With virtually zero crime rate, the safety of the populace is largely guaranteed, albeit at the cost of their liberty. The personal data of every single citizen is hardwired into the database of the state security and retina scanners are located in almost every corner of the city to keep track of its denizens. Even residential apartments are not spared from this intrusion on privacy, for mechanical spiders can invade households at anytime for routine checks, all in the name of justice. Most of the citizens seem to accept this compromise on their freedom and appear to be satisfied with life in this sparkling metropolis. However, all is not what it seems. In the particular scene where the spiders are dispatched in apartments to locate Anderston, we are treated to an aerial view of the inhabitants’ interaction of the spiders. The highly aggressive spiders and their cold, mechanical tentacles was a clear metaphor for the infiltration of technology into our homes. The residents are helplessly subjected to this invasion, the fear and apprehension clear in their eyes, paralleling how many of us fear technological progress and yet unable to do anything to stop it.
Minoirity Report also depicts an all-too-credible world of heavy data-surveillance (link to the Google section). Eyes, the window into our souls, are featured heavily in the movie. The citizens are closely observed by the countless retina scanners scattered throughout the city, which constantly updates the tastes and preferences of every single person. Through this, potential costumers are easily spotted and electronic billboard are programmed to deliver a customized personal message for advertising purposes. The most disturbing element of this phenomenon seems to be the implication that technology is violating the souls of the consumers, a soul yearning for brand-name fulfillment. People become solely defined by their wants choices on lifestyle are basically made for them by the unfeeling machines.
The entertainment industry is practically dominated by holographic dream machines that can allow people to relive their memories and simply live out their wildest fantasies. There is a strong sense of escapism as Anderston himself uses one such machine to revisit his deceased son and his indulgence in this virtual reality is not really that different from the phenomenon of web addiction in today’s world. Technology seems to offer a way out for the depressed protagonist, weaving for him a fantastical web of escapism he readily dives into.Back to top
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