Utopian Film

I’m gonna make a movie (no title yet, Utopian Film is just a working title, where the advertising of it has this big drawn out campaign showing what life could be like on a Utopia (very entertaining), people all different races, creeds, genders, sexual orientations, ability getting along (wow), lots of pleases and thank yous ending almost every line of dialogue, characters being satisfied with what they have and no desire for anything more (lots of memorable jokes as well…people would start to wonder how are there so many jokes in this movie and if any were saved for the final edit, the campaign would assure them so). But then when the movie actually comes out the Utopia is just nature, no people. Just sprawling nature. Waterfalls and animals smiling and chirping and lumping between the trees.. There are no people here. That’s the joke. We’re the problem.

This would ONLY work with a major release. 3,000 theatres. 50 million dollar marketing budget.

It won’t make any money. Because after opening weekend (hell, even the reviews) this illusion will be completely shattered. Those who paid their hard earned money for the film will be furious that the characters and jokes they were excited for in the trailer weren’t real, but a simulation meant to get them to buy a ticket. For what? A statement? Social commentary? They still weren’t sure. It was just a nature documentary, and while pretty, not supremely engaging.

Disillusionment spreads and soon people are having trouble believing any art is what it claims to be. Cinemas remain empty, people opting for hikes and a day on the beach instead of spending $14.75 to be duped. Many didn’t spend the initial investment for a ticket to my film, but they felt slighted all the same. As if they were the exact demographic who would buy a ticket and be the one who’s angry right now. So they’re angry for their own benefit even if they weren’t entirely affected the way they’re feeling they could have been.

This spreads to every corner of the entertainment industry. Bands with makeup on their faces who used to sell out arenas and pop starlets who were just starting to, now have about 100 people milling around on the floor. All major sporting leagues will disband after the mere suggestion that the players were cyborgs engineered to make dunks and touchdowns. They were engineered, albeit it genetically, in a lab and not artificial intelligence. Nature and nurture coming together so that people could pretend they were at war even though wars had seemed to stop. Zoos close. Radio shutters. Television keeps going, but people stop watching. Nobody’s really sure what’s happening on reality shows or news or sitcoms or intense cable dramas because it’s happening without viewers, set on autopilot that won’t stop. If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one there to watch the news then it’s like, did the news even broadcast.

People start talking to each other again. They put their phones in drawers and forget about them. It’s kind of nice. Nights are spent on porches sipping cocktails and having real deal conversations about thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams and the future instead of the past. Sure, sometimes someone says something steeped in nostalgia. “Does anyone remember X song?” and we’ll chat about that for a while, remembering pleasantly but not desperately. Like a distant cousin who died when you were young. You didn’t know him super well but he seemed to have a positive effect on your life.

KKUURRTT is glad you read his thing. He can be found on twitter at @wwwkurtcom.

Categories: Fiction

Daily Drunk

Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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