Okay, watched Dark City for class the other day, and watched Truman Show last semester for another class. Both for 3rd or 4th time at least. But seeing them so closely together and perhaps due to studying them for class, I suddenly was kicked in the head by the ENORMOUS similarities. Both stories involve a protagonist trapped inside a miniature controlled world for observation by outsiders. Both have the protagonist becoming accidentally aware of the unusual nature of this world - "star" almost falls on Truman, Murdoch awakens and interrupts his implant and then sees the tuning transformation. Both are then driven to go beyond the boundaries of this controlled world, but outside forces keep them from going beyond by trickery. Water is a common theme as a boundary as well. Shell Beach is mysteriously inaccessible and no one can really remember the way out (they finally do go by water to get there), Truman is foiled again and again in his attempts to leave the island often by a fear of water. Both are assisted in their growing awareness by an "outsider", Dr. Schreber in DC and Sylvia in TS. Both of them do so against the will of the "controlling" party and without their knowledge (till discovered). Both protagonists can "control" their world but do not realize this at first. Defining scenes in both movies are when these characters do realize this ability. Truman conducts the traffic and walks god-like through the plaza and Murdoch starts to realize his ability to control matter even before he fully understands why. Murdoch creates doors for escape, etc. Both are also driven by a love interest (no surprise there really). But these love interests end up being outside their pretend world. Sylvia is not really the character she portrayed on the Truman show, nor is she in Fiji. Emma ends up being tuned into a different persona and is no longer his "wife". Both men end up with resolving this love as a major goal for escape. Both films give us an awe and wonder shot of the world from the outside. Both worlds are giant circles, the Truman dome and the Dark City spaceship. Both "controllers" end up using knowledge of the protagonist to hunt him down when he ends up on the loose. The Strangers use the memory implant for Murdoch to understand his memories and thoughts in order to track him. They know what he is thinking. Truman is pursued by cameras, mics, actors, etc that allow them to follow his every move (almost). Truman is driven to get to Fiji, Murdoch is driven to get to Shell Beach. Both beaches obviously. Both require going beyond the boundaries of their world. Both require crossing the water boundaries and then end up with a wall on the other side. Truman runs into the wall and then opens the door to the other side, Murdoch finds the Shell Beach wall and breaks it open revealing the full truth of his world. In both there are 2 main themes - the world is not what they think it is, and the protagonist ends up taking control of what his world will be. Truman defeats Christof by beating Christof at his own game, he challenges his fear of water head on, and then must make a critical decision to go through the wall. Christof challenges him to not go through the wall and Truman takes the final stand to go through the wall. Murdoch obviously must defeat the Strangers at their own game (tuning) and then Dr. Schreber asks him what he will do next. Murdoch chooses to take control of his life (though he refuses to control other people's lives). I'm not saying rip-off or anything. I find them very separate films, yet both tackle a similar theme from slightly different angles. That is that they explore man being controlled by his world and then turning the tables and taking control of his own life. The both portray that outcome as a very positive thing. Truman fights to just get the right to truly live on his own choices, Murdoch actually gains the ability to fully control his world, yet limits himself in what control he will exert. So there it is. I'm sure some of you have extensive thoughts on this. I'm not really asking to be shown that this similarity isn't there because I truly think it is. I just wonder if there are other similarities or what other people think about this idea.