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Friday, 3 February 2012

we are the victims of shock - future shock

 "Future Shock is a sickness that comes from too much change in too short a time ... it's the premature arrival of the future ..." intones a cigar-chewing Orson Welles as he is driven through an American landscape where the dream has already started to turn sour, and opens his narration of this fantastic but unsung 1972 documentary based on Alvin Toffler's 1970 bestseller. Future Shock was Toffler's sensational shorthand for a vision of society in danger of fracturing because of the pressures of ever-accelerating change driven by technology. Dystopian visions were already reflected in sci-fi films; here was the depiction of how that change was playing out in real life, complete with commitment-free hippies, robots so real you might mistake them for humans, a little girl trading in her obsolescent dolls, and modular architecture. Not to mention the possibility of people with blue faces. But, despite the novelty value of the images, the eerieness of watching Future Shock comes from seeing that much of what is covered in the documentary - like genetic engineering - has, or is in the process of coming true, and that we're still unsettled by technological possibilities. Not so much a vision past, as caught somewhere in the almost now and future.


All screengrabs from the Future Shock documentary

1 comment:

  1. Looks amazing. thanks for this tip, will watch the movie!

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