Eager to spend a vacation, Lenina accompanies Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd), an administrator with a penchant for turtlenecks, during a fun visit to the wilderness. A living history park for the upper classes, the Savage Lands offer playlets based on obsolete customs – marriage, consumerism. Did I mention that everyone in New London speaks with cut British accents when the wilderness dialect is strictly American?
When the holidays go badly – the wilderness has a sedition problem – Bernard and Lenina escape with the help of a moist and moist John (Alden Ehrenreich) and his raucous and blond mom (Demi Moore). John returns with them to New London and he, Lenina and Bernard, each seeking greater human connection, form the basic geometry. (No price for guessing who she chooses, but here’s a clue: her genes always code for hair.)
To imagine New London and the wilderness and optical interfaces between (in New London, everyone connects to the Internet via biomorphic contact lenses), the show hired production designer David Lee (“Watchmen”). “The world of Huxley, I mean, it’s a design opportunity beyond belief,” said Lee.
He and his team wanted to avoid the appearance of other films and series, although they referred to “Blade Runner” for its scale, he said, and “Gattaca” for its elegant modernism. Above all, Lee turned to brutalism – Brasilia by Oscar Niemeyer, the elegant interiors of Carlo Scarpa, the Soviet monuments that stretch to the sky.
Built in slightly curved concrete, which can shine hot or cold depending on the lighting, the New London buildings look both attractive and inflexible, as if Le Corbusier’s studio had taken an order for a high-end spa (in the right direction). The visual references for the Savage Lands: trailer parks and decomposing Walmarts.