The world of cinema extensively explores the question of the future and makes it possible to communicate different visions of the evolution of the city. These visions imagine how certain large existing cities could become, base themselves on existing cities to imagine others, or simply develop entire cities from scratch.
This silent, black-and-white German film is set in 2026 in Metropolis, a megalopolis in a dystopian society divided into two parts. The upper town is home to the ruling intellectual families accustomed to idleness, luxury and entertainment, while the lower town is home to the downtrodden workers who make it all work. For the time, this film is innovative since we can see an impressive verticality as well as highways reaching heights never seen before.
This Japanese anime brings together humans and robots in well-defined spaces. We find the duality present in the eponymous film of 1927 with the Ziggurat skyscraper sheltering the elite of society, while robots and poor humans live underground. The city is imagined here as a gigantic tower of Babel.
Blade Runner (1982)
In this film, the Los Angeles of 2019 looks like the current one in a much darker and modern, cyberpunk way. This polluted and often drowned city pits police officers against androids hidden among the population.
The Fifth Element (1997)
The screenplay is not the only strong point of Luc Besson’s film since this vision of the city of New York in the 23rd century is fascinating. Hyper vertical, the city is made up of striking details such as the saturation of flying cars, the footbridges connecting the buildings or impassable streets on the ground, lost in a permanent thick fog.
Minority Report (2002)
In 2054, crime has disappeared thanks to agents who can predict crimes. The American capital Washington visible in this production is none other than Concept Art by artist James Clyne especially for this film starring Tom Cruise.
The Crystal Age (1976)
This dystopian city in which the rest of humanity lives in the year 2274 seems to be a paradise too. However, there is a shadow in the picture: humans must die at the age of 30 in order to avoid overpopulation.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The nation of Panem, built on the remains of North America, is made up of a dozen districts, each of which must send a representative to amuse the richest in games of death. The main city, Le Capitole, whose austerity is glaring, nevertheless recalls Ancient Rome for its luxurious architecture, a symbol of opulence.
In 2154, the richest live in the Elysium station, a space station which turns out to be a real paradise while the rest of humanity shares a devastated world…
This mythical Japanese animated film offers an incredible vision of the Japanese capital renamed Neo Tokyo. This megalopolis was actually rebuilt in 2019 on the ruins of the old one, razed by an explosion that occurred during the 3rd World War. Neo Tokyo is corrupt and criss-crossed by gangs of young bikers who rule the roost.
In this animated film, the Paris of 2054 does not appear really futuristic. No crazy technology, no robots or flying cars, the Haussmannian architecture is even very well preserved there. In reality, the futuristic side of « Neo Paris » is embodied by the addition of modules on the buildings.
New York 1997 (1981)
Long before The Fifth Element, New York had already been the subject of a futuristic vision. In New York 1997, the Big Apple saw its crime rate increase by 400%! This situation has forced the authorities to transform the city into a vast open-air prison, whose preserved area is none other than the island of Manhattan surrounded by a huge wall watched by the police day and night.
THX 1138 (1971)
In an apocalyptic future, humanity lives recluse underground after a nuclear disaster has made the surface of the planet uninhabitable. This sanitized universe looks like a kind of giant hospital.
Cloud Atlas (2013)
Neo Seoul is a futuristic vision of the South Korean capital in the year 2144. In this universe reminiscent of Metropolis and Blade Runner, flying cars, holographic highways and huge skyscrapers rub shoulders. In this film, the duality also exists since the rejects of society live in the slums on the fringes of technology.
Tron: Legacy (2011)
Tron City only exists in cyberspace designed by a programmer. However, this one has everything of the dystopian city: skyscrapers, security forces, nightclubs, arenas…
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
This adaptation of the eponymous 1980s manga is currently in theaters. The story takes place in a futuristic megalopolis modeled on the city of Hong Kong. Director Rupert Sanders says he has “created a futuristic metropolis that exudes an Asian feel that blends Western and Eastern influences”a city that “welcomes people from all over the world and the urban billboards illustrate this cultural maelstrom towards which we are all heading. »
Other films show futuristic cities such as Batman, Dark City, Judge Dredd, The Island, Total Recall, Welcome to Gattaca, or even I-Robot.
Sources: Allociné – Sens Critique