Aeon Flux is an American avant-garde science fiction animated television series that aired on MTV November 30, 1991 until October 10, 1995, with film, comic book, and video game adaptations following thereafter. It premiered 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 was created by Korean American animator Peter Chung.
The live action movie Aeon Flux, loosely based upon the series and starring Charlize Theron, was released in theaters on December 2, 2005, preceded in November of that year by a tie-in video game of the same name based mostly on the movie but containing some elements of the original TV series.
Aeon Flux is set in a bizarre, dystopian future world. The title character is a tall, leather-clad secret agent from the nation of 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 represents a dynamic anarchist society, while Bregna embodies a police state - referred to on one occasion as a republic by Goodchild. Although Bregna is shown to be repressive, in the first full-length episode, "Utopia or Deuteranopia?", Clavius, the president deposed by Goodchild, is described by a questioning journalist as having been democratically elected. In the same episode, an upper house of parliament is also mentioned by the character Gildemere.
The animated series is far more gritty and edgy than the movie version, featuring twisted eroticism and dark humor amid scenes of graphic violence. It oozes with a delicious perversity that the movie version abandoned in favour of cohesive narrative (and a PG-13 rating). Showing a healthy and irreverent disregard for that very narrative continuity, Chung's animated series successfully makes commentary on various societal notions and behaviours through his uniquely disjointed and liberating form. Chung asserts that this plot ambiguity and disregard for continuity were meant to satirize mainstream film narratives. I think it does far more than this as art form, by providing a journalistic style of reporting the nuances and filigrees of life that gives it an immediacy hard to overlook. Chung's apparent intention was to emphasize the futility of violence and the ambiguity of personal morality. This is best shown in his six 5-minute shorts and pilot, created in 1991. The shorts commonly featured a violent death for the title character, sometimes caused by fate, but more often due to her own incompetence.
The Gnostic "Aeons", emanations of God, come in male/female pairs (aptly represented by Flux and Goodchild). As with the Gnostic "Aeon pairs", Flux and Goodchild make up inseperable parts, the yin/yang (complementary opposites) of a whole, and represent the paraxical oxymoron of chaos in order. Long-limbed and continually in fluid motion, Flux dances through Goodchild's rigid scientific world of order with an ease that stirs both his fascination and his fury. He, in turn, enthralls her and ensnares her with his intellectual hubris.
The Gnostic "Aeon" male/female pair (called syzygies) of Caen (Power) and Akhana (e.g., Love) closely parallel Goodchild and Flux as they flirt with each other in a complex dance of power and love. Their attraction/antagonism mimics the characterizations of Eris (Greek goddess of discord) and Greyface (a man who taught that life is serious and play is a sin) in the Discordian mythos. Like Eris and her golden apple, Aeon Flux stirs up trouble for Goodchild's complacent technocratic regime, constantly challenging his hubristic notions of human evolution, perfection and even love.