Denis Newiak


This article discusses cinematic Mars fictions with a hermeneutic approach in their relation to the real-world urban challenges encrypted in these art works. Science fiction movies have long created a collective consciousness of specific imaginations of how city life might look and sound like in the future, condensing our real life beyond the cinematic world, our wishes, hopes and fears into works of art. However, almost all ‘earthly’ sceneries are burdened with connotations. That is why so many filmic future narratives are located in the blank vastness of foreign worlds and their temporarily inexhaustible freedom for speculation – in particular on Mars. Against the historic background of the development of Mars fiction as a movie genre, this paper distinguishes three phases of Mars cinema movies and examines the forms and ideas of urbanity thoses films create, the societal and urban issues that are preferred by those cinematic scenarios, and how these filmic future ‘cities’ can be understood as critical comments on current and forthcoming questions of urbanity. Starting from Nietzsche’s thought of post-moral mankind as a ‘lonely’ species, it demonstrates, on the basis of selected examples, such as the film Total Recall (1990), how Mars science fiction movies deal with dysfunctional communities and the resulting loneliness of the urban human of the future. That makes filmic Mars cities aesthetic projections of ‘earthly’ sociopolitical challenges of urbanization that have been dynamicly changing in the course of history since the beginning of 20th century.


Science Fiction, Film, Mars, Loneliness.

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Journal of Communication and Languages |  ISSN 2183-7198

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.