The upcoming Alphaville Series takes its name from hipster God and French New Wave pioneer Jean Luc Godard’s 1965 film of the same name. The themes from the 1960s cinematic movement— full of stylistic experimentation and philosophical dialogue — centered on the ills of contemporary society. Godard’s Alphaville is about a city called Alphaville, a sci-fi urban landscape where people’s individuality, sexuality, and self-expression are regulated in a Big Brother (George Orwell, 1984) kind of way. The protagonist, a detective named Lemmy Caution, arrives in Alphaville to save the citizens from the oppressive regime that controls their lives.
Alphaville asks: is our own present world becoming more and more like the fictional dystopian city of Alphaville, with more and more governmental/corporate regulations, surveillance, and secrets controlling our lives, and having more and more power to say what is just and what is not just? And are governments/corporations having more and more power to have people believe in what they decide to be just and not just?
The 1960s philosopher Marshall McLuhan stated that the media (corporate and governmental) may be becoming more and more the extensions of our human senses, bodies, and minds. Is that true? And, if so, what are examples for regaining control over our lives? The Alphaville Series will look at not just media but at contemporary society in general — fashion, design, literature, films, art, music, social/political trends, etc — and how they treat, effect or could further effect our modern lives.
So is our world indeed starting to look increasingly more like a joyless, dystopian, turret-less prison? And if so, what are examples of contemporary people and strategies that are challenging possible threats to our freedom? What in the end is freedom? And are we in a time where things are more complex than the simple equation of The Revolutionary vs. Big Brother? The Alphaville Series will travel through every part of the imaginary city of Alphaville we might find right here in our own present world…