[Utopian Dystopia] - The Running Man [1987 / USA]

     After economic collapse, the world finds itself divided. The movie adopts the idea that when the ruling class attains power it will concentrate strictly upon itself.
     Control of the population is not accomplished directly as in "1984" and the world isn't, at a technological level, as different from its own past as it was the case in "Brave New World". Unlike "Equilibrium" in the case of this movie, control is exerted through emotions and it's mainly about entertainment. Everything about the past is censored. This element of censorship, of controlling information, is at the base of all books and movies that address such themes.
     "The Running Man" is mainly about a television show that has the subject of sending a number of inmates through a natural and urban labyrinth where they finally face certain death at one point or another. A series of heroes gained popularity and I'm not talking about the actual competitors, the executioners all have some sort of a superhero aesthetics, each bolstering a particular superpower.
Controlling information leads directly to controlling opinion and setting mind barriers. We should notice the importance television has in strengthening the authority and/or durability of an undemocratic regime. In "The Running Man" we see the desire of the ruling class to maintain the appearance of the rule of law and to legitimize actions taken against rebels/terrorists not integrated into the system.
     The movie itself isn't an artistic masterpiece but it has the 80's written all over on it, and what good times these were in Hollywood.
     It's somewhat based on a novel with the same title written by Stephen King under the name of Richard Bachman. It has Arnold Schwarzenegger in the leading role and the director is Paul Michael Glaser.

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