In Author Top 5s I'm inviting a number of authors to share top 5 lists somehow related to the genre they write. They'll be discussing things they love and how they've been influenced by them. Should prove to be interesting and hopefully we'll all pick up a few recommendations of good stuff to check out.
Today Charlotte McConaghy is joining me to celebrate the release of her new novel 'Melancholy' and she's celebrating in a way I can definitely get behind by sharing her top 5 dystopian movies. Being a dystopia nut myself - and by that I mean someone who reads and writes dystopia not someone who stockpiles canned food in a bunker - I'm looking forward to seeing her picks.
Thanks for having me on the blog today, Justin! To celebrate the release of my new novel Melancholy – Book Two of The Cure Series, which is dystopian sci-fi, I thought I’d list my top 5 dystopian movies. Except my top 5 is actually a top 7 – because I love so many and I’m really bad at choosing. There’s a whole lot of classics I’ve left out, and I’m going to be completely honest about why: I was born in 1988 and I’m still working my way through a lot of the golden oldies.
‘Whereas utopia refers to an imagined place or state where everything is perfect, dystopia refers to a state or place where everything has gone to hell.’ – Taste of Cinema (for a much more high-brow list than mine visit their website)
1. Children Of Men
This is a strange and terrifying look at what might happen to the world if women stopped being able to have children. It’s beautifully done, poignant and utterly believable. Based on the novel by P.D. James.
2. The Matrix
A whole lot of fun, and the first time, as a kid, that I really stepped into the genre and considered ideas like worlds within worlds and reality versus perception.
3. The Hunger Games
Part of the YA dystopian craze that’s flooding the market, this one is undoubtedly the best of the lot. It’s more brutal and bleak than others of its kind, (Divergent, Maze Runner) and with a damaged but strong female lead it’s compelling to watch. Based on the novels by Suzanne Collins.
4. Minority Report
One of the most interesting projections of our future – what if we could stop a crime before it was committed? Can we punish intent before action? Thrilling and action-packed, it’s also a good moral dilemma to ponder. Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick.
5. I Am Legend
About the last man left on earth, I Am Legend is both scary as hell and actually quite sad. It tackles the big idea of human loneliness in a poignant, worrying way, and it has freaky vampire zombie things. Like a lot of great dystopian movies, it too is based on a book – this one by Richard Matheson.
Serenity is on this list because I absolutely love Firefly, the television show that preceded the film. A western in space? Hell yes. Gun-slinging, sci-fi fun. I’m still mourning its premature cancellation.
7. Perfect Sense
This one doesn’t usually come up on lists, and causes a really varied response – a lot of critics hated it, but I love it. It’s about what would happen to humanity if we started losing our senses one by one, starting with smell and ending with sight. What would remain? What would become important? Romantic and sad, it’s one of my faves.
Charlotte grew up with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. At fourteen, her English teacher told her that the short story she’d submitted was wildly romantic, so she decided to write a novel. Thus began her foray into epic fantasy and dystopian sci-fi, with sweeping romances, heroic adventures, and as much juicy drama as she could possibly squeeze in.
Her first novel, Arrival, was published at age seventeen, and was followed by Descent, which launched The Strangers of Paragor series, an adventure fantasy for teenagers.
She then wrote her first adult fantasy novel, Avery, the prologue of which came to her in a very vivid dream. Her second adult novel, Fury, is the first in a romantic science-fiction series called The Cure, set in a dystopian future.
Charlotte currently lives in Sydney, having just finished a Masters in Screenwriting from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School. With her television pilot script, she won the Australian Writer’s Guild Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay of 2013. She will, however, always be a novelist at heart, still unable to get her nose out of the books.
Her latest novel Melancholy is available now from Momentum Books.