by J. A. Buxton
Would you have run or tried for renewal?
Write a STORY or POEM about Renewal. It can be true or fictional - it just needs to be about personal renewal of some sort (rejuvenation, rebirth), not renewing a library book.
One of my all-time, personal-favorite movies is “Logan’s Run.” This 1976 science fiction film is about a future society where people only live to the age of 30 in domed cities. They do have one and only one chance to live beyond their 30th birthday. This is to try for renewal on Last Day by joining with all the other who have that birthday on what is known as Carousel. The scene in the movie when the carousal begins turning and the people along its rim begin rising toward the hoped-for renewal is CGI at its best for that time.
The premise of this story is about a crystal imbedded at birth in a person’s hand that turns colors over the years until the last color of red begins blinking. At this time, other than going on Carousel, they can try to escape their fate by running away from the Sandmen whose job it is to kill them. The main character in this film, Logan, is a Sandman.
Although nowhere near 30, Logan is tricked by the all-powerful computer running this utopian society into a Last-Day gem change. They want him to find a place called Sanctuary where runners who escaped the various Sandmen in the past now live in freedom. Logan is helped in this by a young woman named Jessica who does not believe Carousel actually gave renewal to anyone.
Logan and Jessica escape the domed cities to the nearly deserted outside world. Along the way they discover that life’s renewal does not depend on living free from care in a computerized society. When they reach an overgrown Washington, D.C., they come across the first old person they’ve ever seen. He lives in a deserted government building along with dozens of cats. Peter Ustinov plays this character perfectly.
The ending scene when Logan defeats the computer had holographic images of him that fascinated me when I first saw this movie back in the 1970s. If you like science fiction that actually tells a story without a glut of noisy special effects, this story about renewal is for you. I am providing an IMDb link here for you to check it out for yourself.
On a personal note, I once attended a science fiction convention where the co-author of the novel, George Clayton Johnson, was a guest speaker. If you read the novel, the age of renewal is much less than 30, but I guess Hollywood couldn’t find many good actors that young. Other than that, the film follows the book faithfully.
Microsoft Word count = 456
"The Writer's Cramp" daily entry for 04/03/12