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The Future Of Films: Make Mine Dystopian?


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I confess that I'm a bit immovable when it comes to Baz Luhrmann's view of the 1920s and the jazz age. However, I'm not interested in creating a controversy regarding this month's *Friday Night Spotlight* on films with a view to the future. I appreciate the good folks at TCM whose job it is to provide programming 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, while dealing with the notion that not everyone will be happy with those choices. I'm more interested in exploring possible films that might have ?made up? the balance between classic and contemporary titles.




Certainly there are more than a few films that could have given a less dystopian view of our world in the future. I realize *Just Imagine* (1930) won't make the best-of-list of any decade or genre, but with a view to irony this could have been a good choice. Yes, I know, the mish-mash of elements is distracting, but *New York Times* film critic *Mordaunt Hall* called the picture "clever", "highly imaginative", and "intriguing" and praised the costumes and set design (Joyzelle's costuming alone is worth sitting through the film). Paired with one or two episodes from the *Flash Gordon* series, *Woman in the Moon* (1928) would have given an interesting look at space travel (not science fiction, now). Although not strictly a film of the future, *Madam Satan* (1930) gives us a dance party on a dirigible, a vision of the present we have yet to realize (we must have taken a wrong turn on the way to the future because Kay Johnson's devil costume should be available now).



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Okay, somebody's going to eventually say the following in this thread, so I might as well do it now and get it over with...


Where's my flying car and jet pack I was promised???




(...btw...good thread topic and write-up here, wg...the films you mentioned do sound as if they'd be enjoyable to watch)

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Dargo2 wrote:

<< Where's my flying car and jet pack I was promised??? >>


The same place fusion went....NOWHERE!


The flying car concept is not practical and way too dangerous to fly.

Jet packs has only about a min of fuel..great for James Bond, old "Lost in Space" TV series or special events but nothing else.


Oh yes fusion, well here's the problem. It requires a magnetic containment field so strong, it could lift a stack of 300 automobiles 50 feet off the ground. Hence that *big door* you see in the 1982 "Tron".


Now if anyone can figure out how to inject hydrogen fuel, raise the magnetic field, blast lasers to implode/fuse the hydrogen, lower the field to get the energy out and repeat every second then we will have cheap energy.


Much of the science fiction flying cars, space craft, etc use Repulsorlift aka anti-gravity but to any scientist knowledge there is no such thing. We can't turn gravity on/off like a light bulb. We really don't even know what the force actually is (probally monopolelic). Nature will not be cheated


Dargo, if you want one of these then be sure to fill out the Last Will and Testament.


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Yep Ham, I know what you're sayin' here. My question was of course offered up and was meant as a joking reiteration of that now classic refrain heard every time this topic of "the Past's vision of the Future" is brought up.


There is of course no feasible way everyone could fly around in a car in three-dimensions, as it seems half the people driving around NOW in just TWO-dimensions aren't even proficient in THAT, let alone the technical limitations inherent in a compromised design of a half car/half aircraft hybrid.

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I believe many might find interesting the movie: *Aelita: Queen of Mars* (1924). It is not a movie of the future per se but it does involve interaction with a dystopian advanced culture which is located on Mars.


I know that it is available on YouTube but I am sorry to say that I do not have a link to provide.


I have mentioned this movie several times in this forum and I apologize if any believe my comments on it are excessive.


I believe it is an interesting facet that it presents that the "cure" for a dystopian society is a revolution to make it a communist state when it is now widely regarded because of experience that communism/socialism engenders dehumanization and totalitarian governments which are the hallmarks of a dystopia.

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I don't want to get into a big thing about it, but while communism may mean a totalitarian state, socialism is not necessarily so. Only a hybrid of socialism and capitalism is truly workable (such as is enjoyed by Canada and the Scandinavian examples in particular) in providing as close to a just society as has yet been achieved (to my knowledge).

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I love the HD television in the movie - the one with the old man telling the little girl how people use to live above ground. They got the external glass elevator virtually right. A gyrocopter has a standard airplane propeller, Don't know if they were trying to foresee the helicopter with the odd tail rotor. Looks like somebody was inspired by the movie.



Thank goodness those clothes didn't come true, looks like the ancient Romans met the Romulans


We are still trying to get the *Space Gun* up and shooting.



The one guy who wanted to stop mankinds progress, hmmm must be a globolist.


Nothing like watching the movie "Things to Come" on HD (or do I have that backwards LOL!)



Stealth Bomber? If they only knew what was being created in Germany.



Horton HO-229




Oh yes the wrist radio, lol


Calling James Bond, calling James Bond.



Edited by: hamradio on Sep 7, 2013 1:10 AM

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I like that statement, Philcycles...."how uncomfortable the future WAS".


Did you just COME BACK from there?


Dargo, just don't write off fusion. No, I can't get into the science of it all, but I always remember certain things. Like how much ROOM computers used to take up 40 or more years ago, compared to the SMART PHONES people carry around in their pockets today that are capable of functions that once only PCs could do. Or the technician who, when I asked about the CAT scan device in the hospital, told me the CAT scan was developed in 1948, but would have required a building as big as the hospital to house the electronics needed for the technology of the times.


If you told anyone during the civil war about the TELEPHONE, they'd have thought you crazy for thinking such a thing was possible. But how many years AFTER that war did it come about? Or even the LIGHT BULB for that matter?



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I know what you're sayin' here too, Sepia. Yep, the advances in computer sciences especially have been amazing in just the past few decades, and thus who knows, maybe the concept of "Cold Fusion" might eventually come into practical use.


However, I STILL say what with all the morons drivin' around in just TWO-dimensions on the surface of the earth and STILL runnin' into each other out there all the time, I shudder to think of the carnage that would inevitably ensue once all these incompetent and distracted drivers out there would have the ability to drive up and down in the THIRD dimension TOO!!!


Yeah, I know the answer to that would probably be some form of a computerized accident avoidance system, but then wouldn't THAT very thing make the whole idea somewhat infeasible or at least impractical yet AGAIN?


(...'cause then everybody's car would be going off in all directions while avoiding hitting each other, and thus it would pretty much be as bad as sittin' on the 405 Freeway for hours on end NOW, 'cause nobody would get to their destinations anyway yet again, and thus we'd right back to square-one yet again, RIGHT???!!!) LOL



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SansFilm, a great choice and an excellent film. The story offers a glimpse of a utopian possibility, with a decidedly dystopian (as we know) reality.



Although the set design is a bit amateur, compared to *Woman In The Moon*, the costume design still impresses.



Far from subtle, but this is a film with a message.

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Joe, you have a point regarding the theme of the series, a point that is rather apparent from the title. I am a fan of a few dystopia-themed films: *Blade Runner* (like tears in rain); Tarkovsky's *Solyaris* and Bazzoni's *Le Orme*. I just imagined there might have been a few other films that take a look at the same concerns and possibilities. I'm a bit relieved the dress code for my job doesn't require me to appear daily as a human tea strainer.



I might be covering familiar ground, but isn't the CRT screen too small if the IBM system still required an entire room?



Is it an electric car, a hover craft, or an electric hovercraft?



The Varner House, designed in 1969 by James Ream



I believe the consensus is: even if we had the technology, it wouldn't improve driving skills.



The sculptured house was built in 1966 by Charles Deaton


Edited by: whistlingypsy on Sep 7, 2013 3:31 PM

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>However, I STILL say what with all the morons drivin' around in just TWO-dimensions on the surface of the earth and STILL runnin' into each other out there all the time, I shudder to think of the carnage that would inevitably ensue once all these incompetent and distracted drivers out there would have the ability to drive up and down in the THIRD dimension TOO!!!


It's all in how you look at it. You could see it as an accelerated Darwinian effect, removing the morons from the breeding population all the more quickly. Of course, the objection might be raised of the innocent lives lost. In which case, access to flying cars could be limited to morons, who would be identified through a selection process, that is, only those that wanted one.

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Don't know if anyone else here ever saw it, but in the early cable days( for me this would be 1982) there was a short send-up of old films that tried to gauge what the "future" would be like.


This film was made in 1983, and was supposed to be a take off of a film that would have been made in 1948 that showed a concept of what the world would be like in 1984. If you're catching my drift.


In the spoof, they employed Robbie the Robot, in an apron, as the "automated housekeeper every home would have" in the distant 1984. The man of the house, in a "frisky" mood, put the moves on the robot by placing his hand on what might be the robot's rear end. The robot said, "BEEP! Not tonight, sir. I BEEP! have a BEEP! headache!"


The device that was the concept of the VCR took a "cassette" that had two 10-inch film reels fixed on a small plastic box. When they showed the "home computer" that little timmy used to help with his homework, he opened the doors to a room the size of a cathederal!


In other words, THEIR vision of the future was based solely on the limits of the technology they were familiar with back then.


Dargo, when I was young, there was talk of cars that would be motivated by following radio type signals put out by wires implanted in the roads, and all a driver would do is start the car, program in the destination and sit back. By the early 1980's, they tried this type of system in the warehouse of the plant I worked in to move stock around. It didn't work so well.



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I also remember the buried cable concept for the driverless car system, Sepia, however as you probably know the latest attempts at this sort of system are car mounted sensors which can be used on any road, and such as this video presents....



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