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patg7590's avatar

Trying to identify a movie phenomenon...

Asked by patg7590 (4608points) July 8th, 2011

So in certain movies, there is a place that the characters are trying to get to; or one they end up at. Always a physical place. A destination that is regarded as the last hope, the final stand, usually in the face of near impossible odds.

I am looking for two things:
What is this phenomenon? theme? motif? (<—best word for this?) called?

I need some more examples!


plot info for movies you maybe havent seen follow:

In I Am Legend they believe there is hope (to the north?). Ends up being at Bethel, VT

In Book Of Eli there ends up being a museum/safehouse inside Alcatraz prison where the worlds treasures are being amassed and safeguarded. (The Holy Books, art masterpieces, etc)

In Children Of Men the characters are hoping there is a real thing called “The Human Project” that they can get the miracle child to and try to save the human race. (although this one isnt really a place, but still what I’m looking for.

In The Matrix humanity’s last underground city is called “Zion”.

In The Lord Of The Rings they make a stand at Helm’s Deep, kind of the same idea, although the preservation of society element isn’t present.

PS I am a prodigal jelly from a long time ago, I searched and searched and then remembered the obvious answer would be to tap the collective!

Thanks Jellies!

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11 Answers

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It’s called Midian.

patg7590's avatar

@Neizvestnaya can you elaborate? A quick read through the wiki article for Midian and I still dont get it.

AshlynM's avatar

Interesting question but I’m not sure I follow.

patg7590's avatar

@AshlynM perhaps this thing doesn’t have just one name.

Help me flesh out the idea, some different names that work for it.

last line of defense
safe harbor

Kardamom's avatar

In lay terms it could be called (using your own word) plot destination.

filmfann's avatar

In Dark City, it is Shell Beach.
In Chinatown, well, it’s eponymous.
In Lost Horizon, it’s Shangra-La.

patg7590's avatar

@filmfann three films I’ll have to watch! Thanks!

patg7590's avatar

should I have put this in the serious section? Can I repost it there?

Berserker's avatar

Hope, as you say, and finality, usually accompanied by a showdown of some sort, put into symbolism one can see.

I wish we alcoholics had that. Instead of bottles I mean. XD

I’m pretty sure there’s a trope for what you’re talking about. Too lazy to look around, but it’s a cool site if you feel like checking it out. It’s got everything about movie elements and stuff.

ucme's avatar

Best words I can come up with are Salvation/Sanctuary.
It’s basically some “promised land” dream the incumbents strive to attain to.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Look up some links to Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge too. Film makers love to build around a healing place, a place where there will be answers or information necessary to go forward. It would be too easy and corny for them to build around a Garden of Eden endpoint.

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