Night of Light

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This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. I’m taking a couple liberties with this week’s Short Starts. For one thing, the video I’m sharing is not a short film, although it’s one of the original Star Trek episodes that has that one-off feeling of being based on a short story. The other main liberty is that this 1967 episode, “The Return of the Archons,” is not officially related in any way to the movie I’m tying it to. But many people see the plot of the new thriller The Purge as being similar to that of “Archons.” As the imaginary judge inside my brain said in response to the idea, “I’ll allow it.” The sci-fi concept of The Purge is that in ten years time the U.S. has developed a bonkers strategy for dealing with crime. One day each year Americans are allowed to commit any crime they like without consequence, and their victims are allotted no help of any kind. Illogically, the existence of this “purge” has drastically reduced the crime rate for the rest of the year. In this Star Trek story, the Enterprise crew visit a planet in which there is constant peace except during the “Red Hour” of a Festival period, when citizens are given free will and allowed to be as bad as they wish. The episode is said to be inspired by Philip Jose Farmer’s novel “Night of […]

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