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Future Shock March 1, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Inventions, Movies.
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3 comments

One of my favorite sites to visit is Paleofuture which covers the wild and whacky and sometimes eerie predictions of the future from days gone by. Here are some of my favorite visions of the future from the past.


The legendary Orson Welles starred in Future Shock (1972) which made some bold statements about the dangers of a technological future overloaded with information! Sound familiar? It’s based on a book by Alvin Toffler.
Here’s a video clip of the Orson Welles introduction to Future Shock:

Here’s part 1 of 5 of the entire film:

Here’s part 2 of 5:

Here’s part 3 of 5:

Here’s part 4 of 5:

Here’s part 5 of 5:

Here’s the author of Future Shock:

1999 AD (1967) has gotten a great deal of attention in the press lately because of the uncanny predictions that were made in the movie. Some of the innovations they covered were things like online shopping, online bill paying, live video chat, automated kitchen, microwave meals, maximized health and more.
Here’s some news coverage of the movie: (You will recognize one of the actors from the movie)

Here’s the intro to 1999 AD:

Here’s a another video clip of 1999 AD which will surely impress you. Remember, this was made over 40 years ago!

Here’s a clip of home shopping, online bill pay, email and even twitter (OK maybe not that one) and more:

Both 1999 AD and Future Shock are part of the Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today DVD from A/V Geeks.

Things to Come (1936) is a movie from 1936 based on the H.G. Wells’ classic. It peers into 100 years into the future of 2036 and while most of the wild predictions were way off (we landed on the moon 50 years sooner than Wells surmised), the anti-war theme and the perils of a new plague were powerful elements of the story.

Summation:

Maybe it’s part of my uber-geekiness but I just LOVE this stuff. There are tons of amazing predictions of the future from our past. Sure, there are many silly and ridiculous predictions (like flying cars), but there are also plenty of fascinating ones as well. I think it’s just as much fun to predict our technological future today.

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Together in electric dreams February 10, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Movies.
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1 comment so far

I’ve always loved the movie “Electric Dreams” (1984). It was one of the first features films that had the personal computer as one of its leads! Sure, “2001: a Space Odyssey” had HAL but Electric Dreams had a PC called Edgar which more resembled our modern day home computer. “War Games” from 1983 was another film that featured computers but it was more about the massive mainframe systems than the personal computer.

Electric Dreams featured computers that had more capabilities than typical PCs available to the public at that time. It also featured gadgets that either hadn’t been invented at the time or were still in development and not available to the general public such as voice recognition, music composition, Artificial intelligence, home security, 3-D rendering, high resolution color graphics and even the world wide web! In one particular scene at a concert hall scene, Miles’ mobile device was a pager that also played music thanks to the devious home computer. Obviously, it foreshadowed the use of ringtones on cell phones as well as even the iPod.

Here’s the trailer:

The soundtrack is also outstanding. There are several standout tracks. Here is the main theme song called “Together in Electric Dreams” by Giorgio Moroder and Phil Oakley (from Human League).

Here is a track called “The Dual” once again by Giorgio Moroder whose use of futuristic sounding synthesizers only enhanced the movie.

This one is called “Video” by Jeff Lynn from ELO. Note: The nerd in the video (besides Jeff!) is Bud Cort who does the voice of Edgar the computer in the movie. He was Harold in “Harold & Maude”.

Jeff Lynn also contributed “Let it Run” which the computer uses to disturb the neighbor in the middle of the night.

Boy George contributed this sweet love song called “Love is Love”

“The Dream” was another track from Boy George. It’s a song that plays during a dream sequence that the computer has!

Final Thoughts

I find it ironic that Electric Dreams was set in San Francisco considering the fact that frisco has become ground zero for the whole social media/social networking phenomenon. Yet, despite all of the cool geeky stuff in the movie, the best part of the movie to me was always the love story between Miles and his musician neighbor Madeleine, played by a young unknown at the time, Virgina Madsen who went on to earn an Oscar nod for her turn in “Sideways“. It was a most unusual love triangle for sure, between a man, woman and a computer! I think this is an underrated movie and it’s a crime that is has never made it to DVD! Even the VHS is difficult to find these days! How ironic that a movie that was innovative when it came to the future and technology never made it to DVD. Perhaps some day it will. I will be one of the first ones to buy it too!