Movie Review I
||Things to Come|
||William Cameron Menzies|
Progress in science and technology is put on hold as war
devastates the world. Post-war destruction is replete with decimated
structures and the "wandering sickness" (vaguely reminiscent of the bubonic
plague). Eventually totalitarian fiefdoms emerge from the annihilated
culture of the pre-war era, and the aim of these fiefdoms is to improve
their airplanes so they can go get "the other guy." ("Valley people" want
to get the "hill people," etc.) In their midst flies a superior aeronautic
device piloted by the "airplane people." Of course, they promptly put this
guy in jail because he comes in "peace" and they want him to help them
build superior fighting machines. The airplane people bomb the totalitarian
states with "peace gas" and the progressive era begins with conveyor belts
and increasingly large & complex mechanical processes. By 2036 everyone is
living in a fabulously lit underground world of glass elevators,
toga-meets-SoCal-beach-wear, and Disney-esque people-movers. The elites are
in control. The current debate is on whether or not to shoot two teenagers
in the general direction of the moon with a giant space gun. Some factions
of the elite are beginning to resist "progress" and through the use of a
large projection screen use a riveting speech to incite the masses.
However, the two youngsters succeed in beating the crowds to the space gun
and are spirited off into space.
- The movie's a pitch for progress, but it's progress stuck in this very mechanical paradigm.
- General flow of the eras seem a little too familiar and a bit too eurocentric:
war leads to fiefdoms (read "middle ages") leads to pressive era (read "Renaissance")
- Interesting how the concerns about "progress" in the movie mirror
concerns today with "progressive" movements like genetically-engineered
food and cloning.
- There a need to decimate the entire world in order to build something
-- or is it a gradual construction over long periods of time?
- Very *white* movie.
- The chief's woman in the totalitarian era lamented the fact that she
wasn't a man, but was it any more equal in the progressive era? Didn't
appear to be.
- Audience reception to movie in 1936?