I was almost frustrated trying to find new movie material supplement for my Philosophy and Sociology class this term, so I thought I’d rather take a breather and continue later, but I said I’ll try this ‘Doomsday Book’ first before going out.
I know it’s a Korean movie and I never bother researching who did this and who the actors were, my bad, I’m just too tired to type and do that for the time being, so I had it buffered and begun watching on a sleepy mode.
It opened with a caption ‘A Brave New World’ focusing on this nice guy trying to deal with his family who is leaving for a vacation and leaving him a list and reminders of what not to and to do while the rest of his family is away. One of his to do’s was to clean up the house and throw the trash, and when he said, ‘no matter how he cleaned up there’s always a lot coming’ … and the camera pans to these brand trash that signaled me to sit erect and pay attention to what I’m watching.
This cut rightly demonstrate the idea that everything in this world is connected and what you throw will likely come back to you, the use of the apple as a social symbol really tells a lot.
The movie eventually I learned was divided into three segments, this ‘A Brave New World’ being the first of three that I find very compelling, socially significant and a very good material to analyze the present state of our society today. The ending of the first gap was so gripping, the scene that the woman was giving back the rotten apple to man with a thought to reverse our present social circumstance really got me, but I thought it’s just too late since everyone in the city has turned into zombies, a social symbol to me that represents any normal human beings, devoid of conscious experience and functions quiet differently from what they were before. I thought, how many of us are running around like zombies now, countless.
The Second Gap was entitled ‘The Heavenly Creature,’ this segment follows the life of robot technician, and one of their robot products they call RU-4 was put in a monks monastery to do odd jobs, like cleaning etc, but eventually the robot was humanized and became Buddhist. This segment reminds me of Dr. Machio Kaku when he said, ‘in the future, humans will behave more like machines and machines will behave more like humans’, this isn’t a new concept to me, but the juxtaposition of the robot which to me represents all our material connections and the monastery which represents our moral fiber is just so compelling. In the end, the robot went to self-destruct and the technician sadly said ‘all circuits have been disconnected; the robot terminates all of its own functions and the entered Nirvana’. Indeed from the Buddhist doctrine, it is only when one would release and free itself from human suffering, lust and anger that it can enter Nirvana. It was such a powerful symbolic prospect.
The end part showed the technician slitting his wrist to remove a chip to replace the dog robot’s which was owned by a Goth lady who pestered him previously to repair her baby-dog robot. That scene was humanely at least to me – that in a world where everything is now propelled by machines, this technician managed to draw that humane side of him, thinking that the dog-robot is not just a robot, but a machine some people find companion and compassion with, a brilliant composition.
The third offering is entitled ‘Happy Birthday’. Seriously, I have to repeat watching this ‘because I really didn’t get it, the connections of the symbols presented was just too vague for me to understand. This reminded me of the movie ‘Blast from the Past’. I thought in the beginning this would be the validation of the movie title, Doomsday Book and at some literal point it was, as an eight ball asteroid came crashing the Earth. But the kid and her attachment to the internet showed quite compelling perspectives that made-up the whole picture. I’m thinking that – that simple gesture about us using the internet can eventually impact all of humanity, and there’s no escape wherever we are, that only those who have the cleverness and dexterity can likely survive in this technologically savvy society.
The end part confuses me much, I don’t know if my interpretation is right, – the meeting of the child-turned lady with that anime-looking guy after she came out of the bunker – I just can’t find any idea to explain that. Eventually, they saw a devastated city from a afar with that larger than world eight ball positioned on the far side after it impacted the Earth 10 years ago – the eight ball implies that in the game of pool it should be avoided until the end of the game, but in this ‘human existence’ game of ours whether we choose to avoid it or not, it looms destruction that could cost humanity to self-destruct in a not so distant future – take the effects of internet to humankind, while it posses positive effect for others, the negative impact outdo it. But there’s little hope, the little green plant in the ice tells I think about new beginnings that if we only stop and look at simpler things then I think we can move on and find that balance.
Ahhh, I never have seen a movie in the last months that require so much of me; this ‘Doomsday Book’ did it. Doomsday Book is a very good visual representation of how we humans have come to self-destruct our own species, and at one point also struggle to find solution to total annihilation.
This movie was directed by Kim Ji-woon and Yim Pil-sung, it was released on April 2012 in South Korea.
If you want to see it here’s the link …