017 - Alphaville (1965)

In the modern world, dominated by computers it is easy to imagine that social links (face-to-face) are being destroyed. Alphaville plays on this topic to an extreme level, set in a futuristic town where human emotions have been abandoned in favour of logic.

While this may seem far out, it is perhaps closer than you think - in fact today I read on the BBC that humans may be slowing down their evolutionary path by relying more heavily on technology.

So, anyway, back to the film.

Alphaville starts by showing Lemmy Caution - an American private-eye - arriving in Alphaville. He is stunned by the lack of emotion in the city and it seems that he is there to sort it out. Because of the lack of anything related to human emotions it is difficult for the film to convey this message, so it takes a while to get into.

Theatrical Poster
Having played through a sequence of bizarre scenes overlaid with overly dramatic music, he is eventually introduced to Natacha von Braun - the daughter of the ruler of Alphaville. She explains the city's hunt for perfection is the reason for outlawing emotion, and Caution sets about righting the wrongs.

The film is subtely political, debating that it was the Chinese who were partially at fault for creating Alphaville.

Despite the promise that this storyline has, Alphaville feels like it is lacking throughout. Perhaps it is the emotionless storyline that felt dry and boring, or perhaps it was the creepy voice of Alpha 60 (the controlling computer). Either way, Alphaville was slightly disappointing.