I’ve always liked the work of Andrew Niccol, who I’ve nicknamed the minimalist futurist.
Niccol’s sci-fi stories like Gattaca and The Truman Show aren’t about state of the art hardware, but good concepts, and just enough cool futuristic design to surround them.
I particularly like the concept of his latest film, In Time, where you don’t live past twenty five unless you you can buy time and live longer.
The film stars Justin Timberlake, and as Niccol told The Hollywood Reporter he was an easy casting decision because “he’s a great modern everyman for me.” He also looked at co-star Amanda Seyfried “the Bonnie in this Bonnie and Cylde adventure.”
And the message of the movie is very clear, down to the trailer: “Every Second Counts.” Niccol called it a “very literal metaphor of living in the moment. If you see your seconds ticking away it may make you more conscious of how to spend your time.”
In reviewing the film, The L.A. Times called it “flawed yet intriguing,” where the Hollywood Reporter felt, “A provocative premise and beautiful cast can’t entirely conceal the shortcomings of this futuristic lovers-on-the-run sci-fi thriller,” and Variety wrote, “It’s a fascinating conceit delivered as a slick, hyper-stylized conspiracy yarn, juicy enough to deliver on both fronts, provided you don’t ask too many questions.”
But the most interesting point of view on the film may come from Marshall Fine in The Huffington Post, where he called it, “the Occupy Wall Street movie.”
According to Fine, In Time is essentially “espousing the same arguments against income inequality that are the basis of the Occup Wall Street movement.”
With a lot of dystopian sci-fi films, there’s a big disparity between the haves and have nots. When you have to buy time, the poor are struggling to afford more life. And just imagine this going on during the economic collapse.
“It’s the subtext [of the film] the growing anger of the have-nots at having their lives manipulated by the unconcerned uber –rich – that’s so telling. It’s not hard to connect the dots between the rising anger of the ghetto dwellers of In Time and the Occupy Wall Street movement,” Fine writes.
“Not to mention the ultimate irony: It’s being released by Twentieth Century-Fox, the company owned by Ruper Murdoch, whose Fox News Network has gone out of its way to misrepresent, downplay and otherwise cast aspersions on the Occupy Wall Street movement.”