Strange Days — visions of the future in contemporary cinema
Strange Days (1995) is a film by Kathryn Bigelow the action of which takes place on New Year’s Eve 1999. The new millennium is approaching and its symbolic beginning appears to be the climax of a collapse of degenerated reality. What turns out to be the hope against pessimism and confusion in the dark everyday reality is love uniting two protagonists, completely unprepared for an emotional relationship, it would seem. The motif Bigelow uses — love in the face of extinction, inevitable though happening at an uneven pace — makes her film stand out among other science fiction productions from the 1990s.
Interestingly, this motif returns in Perfect Sense (2011) directed by David Mackenzie, in which love is the only chance for preserving humanity at a time when a virus is destroying the human population, gradually depriving people of their senses.
In these films the future is all about human relations, which begin and last regardless of the dynamics of reality. The inhabitants of the fallen world of the future do not rebel against the order of reality, nor do they passively submit to it. In a way, they function outside the dominant system, building their own microworlds in emotional relationships.