Escapism and the Monomyth

Future Shock - Director Alfonso Cuarón revisits Children of Men, his overlooked 2006 masterpiece, which might be the most relevant film of our dark new century.

I haven’t seen the film but according to the article it’s a message movie, about how to come from cynical indifference to actively creating a better world.

I prefer escapist entertainment. I think that’s what story telling has always done best. The mono myth is about the micro level changes of an individual. It can give exemplary choices. But they have to have expected consequences for the story to work.

Real world problems tend to happen on a macro level of society, culture, etc. On that level any individual effort can easily become naught. A movie cannot depict that without hurting the rules of good story telling.

In other words: A good story will always tell us that we can save the world single handedly. And that plainly isn’t true. It’s escapism from our relative ineffectiveness. It’s still comforting and motivating.

A movie that tells me I should try really hard to achieve a minuscule goal that may be stomped down by ignorants in a blink and I may randomly die while trying - well that’s realistic, but I don’t need it.

2022 Update: See Don’t Look Up