20 November 2011

At the Beginning...

Whenever someone talks about futuristic fiction I always find myself turning back to the classics - both in movie and in books. Here's a few of my favs that I think you'll agree are some of the best when talking about the future.

One of the first ones that comes to mind is the classic movie Metropolis - if you haven't heard, this year they released a new version of the film finally pieced together after years of retrieving bits cut out after the initial showing. Paired with a silent movie soundtrack it's easily the best version around. I look at the images and just wonder how, back before World War II, how these minds came up with these visions of the future.

I should point out that if you can get your hands on the original Metropolis novel, it's well worth reading. It might seem a bit dry and preachy for the present-day but the language is a powerful reminder of how much words matter. And the heart!

The next movie that comes to mind is a version of H.G. Wells' "Things To Come" - dealing with a futuristic version of the world that starts off much like our own but takes a drastic twist after what, for them, is World War Two and projects a new society far into the future. Wells actually wrote the screenplay for this movie based on his book and it gives us images that may seem familar today but were extraordinary for 1936.

And last, but no means least, let's remember The Time Machine. Based on another H.G. Wells novel, originally published in 1895, it extrapolates a world where once again war takes over - but society eventually evolves into a kinder, gentler version - as long as you don't look too closely. The movie was released in 1960 with Rod Taylor and became an instant classic. Taylor's pretty easy on the eyes too, I must admit.

If you've never read the original novels I encourage you to get thee hence to a bookstore or grab the ebook copies for some faboo reading. These classic novels show a version of the future that came eerily close to the truth and shows the depth of the human imagination.

Are we headed for a Hunger Games in our future or a Mad Max? Are we going to end up in the dysfunctional world of Logan's Run or the idealistic world of Star Trek? Who knows, but by looking into our past we might just see some of the future.
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