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In the Dark

Elysian Fields Forever

Elysium
Produced and distributed by TriStar Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment 
Directed and written by Neill Blomkamp 

Neill Blomkamp’s second film, Elysium, is, in a way, a sequel to his first, District 9.  This time, however, there are no eight-foot-tall prawn-like aliens accusing earthlings in Johannesburg, South Africa, of the crime of apartheid or insensitivity or cultural indifference or something.  (This assumes the first movie was an allegory of racial injustice in Blomkamp’s home country.  District 9 has garnered other interpretations, however.  To date, no one seems to know Blomkamp’s purpose with anything like certainty, and our auteur has craftily kept his own counsel.  Why get the Yanks in a tizzy?  Better to play along with their own prejudices.)

In Elysium the giant shrimps have vacated the premises to make way for other aliens, illegal Mexicans who have taken over Los Angeles, overpopulating and befouling the city and, I suppose, the rest of America, if not the world.  Meanwhile, the wealthy, fed up with underclass behavior, have decamped to the ultimate gated community, an antiseptic space station where they can sip cocktails by their marble pools and sneer at the losers below, scrabbling in the dust for their daily bread.

As a meditation on class difference,...

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