Sunday, February 25th 2018    |   

Aeon Flux

Friday, March 28, 2008   |   Movies & TV
Aeon Flux is an avant garde American science fiction animated television series, created by Korean American animator Peter Chung, that aired on MTV. It premiered in 1991 on MTV's Liquid Television experimental animation show as a six-part serial of short films, followed in 1992 by five individual short episodes. In 1995 a season of ten half-hour episodes aired as a stand-alone series.

Aeon Flux is set in a bizarre, dystopian, future world of mutant creatures, clones, and robots. The title character is a tall, bondage gear-clad secret agent from Monica, skilled in assassination and acrobatics. Her mission is to infiltrate the strongholds of the neighboring country of Bregna, which is led by her sometimes-nemesis and sometimes-lover Trevor Goodchild. Monica apparently represents a dynamic anarchist society, while Bregna embodies a centralized, scientifically planned state. The names of their respective characters reflect this: Flux as the self-directed agent from Monica and Goodchild as the technocratic leader of Bregna.

With the exceptions of the exclamation "No!" in the pilot and the single spoken word "Plop" in the episode "Leisure", all of the short episodes are completely devoid of (intelligible) dialogue.

One peculiarity of the early shorts is the violent death of AEon Flux, which occurs in each of the installments (by contrast, she only "dies" once in the half-hour series). Often her death is caused by fate, while other times she dies due to her own incompetence. One of the half-hour episodes, "A Last Time For Everything", ends with the original AEon being killed and replaced by an identical clone. (In the episode "Chronophasia", AEon is apparently killed repeatedly by a monstrous baby, but the reality of these events is ambiguous. In "Ether Drift Theory", AEon is suspended indefinitely in an inanimate state, but remains technically alive.)

Although continuity is virtually non-existent in the series and Chung made some adjustments for the DVD release to improve this the primary unchanging elements in the episodes are the two main characters of Trevor and AEon. There is intentionally no continuity between the second season shorts. Peter Chung has said that this plot ambiguity and disregard for continuity are meant as a satire of mainstream action films, and his stories often emphasize the futility of violence and the ambiguity of personal morality.

Alright, I'll agree that it may well take over 100 viewings before I finally 'get it', and maybe not even then... but who cares! I'm addicted to Aeon. The early shorts are still my favorite, but we'll see what ripens on the vine.