2019: The year of our cyberpunk future
Three of the great science fiction films of the twentieth century, Akira (1988), Blade Runner (1982) and The Running Man (1987) were set in 2019. Their sprawling, neon-lit streetscapes have proved to be not so unlike the futures they predicted, with extremes of technology, power and wealth concentrating in the mega-cities of today. In each film there are heroes and anti‑heroes who contest this hi‑tech power, from the escapee android in Blade Runner to the policeman in The Running Man who refuses orders to open fire on an innocent crowd. Security cameras and police are a notable presence in these films, driving early fantasies of a society of surveillance.