After that David Davis speech, my own revision for dystopian futures has to include Bladerunner, RoboCop, Minority Report and so on. Which ever of these movies one views, the actual cityscapes are like an intrinsic character in the plot. Witty, well observed and really quite clever.
Unlike that David Davis, who is trying more snake oil in an attempt to be more interesting.
Meanwhile, the dystopias which he renounces all have a darkness and a separation between a Hunger Games style elite and a kind of Just About Managing underclass. Hmm.
A pre-Bladerunner depiction of this would be Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
Even in that 1927 movie, we get the towers to house the industrialist super-rich, the dangerous and deadly working conditions of the poor, a mad looking scientist and the deadly False
It makes me wonder about a recent addition to the dystopian canon in the form of Altered Carbon. A lavish Netflix derived from Richard Morgan's 21st century sci-fi novels. I was hoping, because it is more recent than many of the other adaptations, that it would offer some new thinking about futures. So far it seems to have forgotten that it could add some fresh social commentary. Even my crazy favourite The Fifth Element adds plenty of worldview.
Admittedly in Altered Carbon, the plot thematic elements like spun-up disk-based personalities, tycoons who can live forever and criminals given one last chance to get a pardon are all pretty much staples of the genre. Maybe that's for comment another day.
In Fifth Element, like Bladerunner, they built the worlds. Then think of the fun adding the detailing. Which they did, so the whole idea of the multi-level car lanes, sidewalk advertising and the Thai Food Flying Junk all had a chance to breathe.
The same with Bladerunner 2048. A chance for the envisioners to walk around in the city. To see the backs of things and how they interact. A chance to add ideas, even to the already formed Bladerunner universe.
That seems to be missing from Altered Carbon. But not as much as it's missing from the current government worldview.