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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reality is bent and broken: blurring the lines of reality in fiction

It's easy to see by my favorite movies, tv, anime, and books that there's a running them in many of them:

The Matrix - the blending of the real world with a computer generated one
The Neverending Story - the blending of the real world with that of fiction
Serial Experiments Lain - the blending of the real world with virtual reality and the Internet

To add to the growing list, I watched Inception last night over at the local IMAX. Another good one, the blending of reality with that of dreams: which is the dream and which is the reality? How it ended could even be in debate, and I had a few theories of my own as the movie went on.

What is it about such stories that is so compelling? Many of us read and watch fiction to be entertained and to escape. Or is it merely an escape? Do some of us feel deep down that the lines drawn around what we perceive to be reality are false in some areas and exaggerated in others?

Or perhaps it's a need not to escape, but to explore reality, to entertain the "what-if" possibilities. What if parallel realities existed as derived from fiction? How many of us have not on occasion daydreamed about what it would be like to tour the starship Enterprise, take a trip to Narnia, or visit Bon Temps in True Blood? What if our technology grew so powerful that something such as the Internet would blend and redraw our map of existence? And just what it is about the idea that computers will somehow dominate and rule over our so-called real world as a dystopian vision of the future that we find so compelling and so...true to life? In an age where we are attached to our Netbooks, iPads, and Blackberries it doesn't seem too far-fetched. And if machines could become sentient, what then?

The world of the machine and the world of the mind. The world of information and the realm of thought. The world of imagination and ideas which generate it. We separate them for the sake of our own sanity and the perception of what we can and cannot change in addition to what we see, feel, and sense in the world around us. If we discover how to develop 3D virtual realities so real that they can affect the world around us, would it ultimately spell out a new, profound way to create and influence life? Or would it ultimately corrupt us and foretell our doom?

What do you think of fiction which portrays reality as being so malleable? Do you find a grain of truth in what they are portraying, are forecasting the developments of new and dangerous technology? Or do you find them to be merely fanciful tales born in wishful thinking and a desire to escape what we perceive as being unalterable?

Love & Magic,

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Anonymous said...

This blog reminded me that I should watch the Never Ending Story II. I've seen the first one a few times and have it on DVD, it's a duel one with the second part on side two. Another movie I enjoyed which blurred the lines was Equilibrium with Christian Bale.

Adrianne Brennan said...

This is one of those times when I vastly preferred the book to the movie. There were enough differences between the book and the first movie to render the second movie almost useless, IMHO. But each has its own message to deliver to the reader.

I like the first movie and the original book each in its own regard. :)

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