All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Things to Come
The future is here!
Late 1960 and the world consists of feudal cities after decades of a global war and plague. 2035 and the world has been rebuilt with fantastic technology, but has progress gone too far and has man learned anything.
My immediate reaction to Things to Come is essentially the same as it was to Avatar - a big budget spectacle with a too-preachy message and a fairly dull story. While I did appreciate the anthological structure to Things to Come, the stories of each of the time periods (present-day war, dystopian fiefdom, and futuristic utopia) were littered with overly dramatic, overly talkie, and overly dry characters that I really couldn't care less about, let alone the sheer horror I felt imagining having these types of people running society. Without a lick of intentional humor and a surprising lack of overt optimism until the end of the last act, the film beats the horrors of war over your head while…
Epic in scope and impressive in design, but severely lacking in engaging characters. The structure is such that you never really get a chance to care about anything that is happening. You begin with a pastoral Christmas setting in "Everytown" with the rumblings of an impending war permeating the news and conversation. We spend a few minutes with some friends and family celebrating, but it is very brief and we are quickly thrust into quite an epic and visually amazing war.
From there we see a plague, then a resulting regrouping of Everytown under a half-wit oligarch, then his downfall, then we get Utopia. This all occurs by flashing forward chunks at a time and we only get a relatively…
It's fun to look back at the future.
Made in 1936, this movie spans a centuries time period. Starting at the cusp of another world war, the story advances a decade showing the devastation that the war has caused. Society is in ruins. Only small villages are left. Technology is stone aged at best. Then a wave of technical progress and evolution takes holds. 80 years later, the threat is that now progress with smother out what it means to be human.
The immediate visual reference for this film is Fritz Lange's METROPOLIS. But unlike that movie, this film lacks any real sense of humanity or the struggles of man.
The acting in this film is so stilted and Shakespearean…
In some respects, this is an Interesting foray into the barbed narcissism of mankind's megalomania. In others it's an exercise in production design.
The dialogue is an afterthought, and the acting is victimized by its own inability to elevate itself out of what seems like a community sponsored stage play where everyone is desperately trying to show their chops ("I AM SHOUTING!" "I AM FURTIVELY LISTENING" "I AM WEARING A CLOAK").
From an academia standpoint it's interesting, but it's also indulgent and boring as hell.
Difficult to rate this guy, as the visual effects in this are extraordinary, regardless of the time it was made. It continued to impress me till the end, and the look and feel were very original.
But good grief the script is terrible. Everything is so preachy and hammy, I was so bored with what they were saying and just waiting on the next effects sequence, that I'm still unclear on the film's message.
Sometimes, when I watch an old film like Things To Come, I wonder if I'm being really patronising with my thoughts towards some aspects of it. I even felt patronising calling it an "old film" just then.
By this I mean that I looked at so many things in Things To Come with such utter amazement, always partnering this amazement with thoughts like, "Cor, how could they do that back then? Surely that was impossible! They didn't even have computers back then!" I can't help it. Maybe the makers could have regarded this as a complement to their ingenuity, though, I don't know.
Of course, they got by, on this occasion, on using what they had available and astonishing levels…
[English/ Spanish review]
Part of the "Movies and technology challenge"
It is easy to see Things to come as flawed anticipation, as primitive science-fiction, as old-fashioned movie-making. And it's true to some extent. But with all its irregularities, and in its due context, there are quite a few things in Things to come I've found fascinating: first and foremost, as a tale about the anxiety over the imminence of World War II. Written in 1933 (the year Hitler became Fürher) and released in 1936 (the year when Spanish Civil War began), all the first part of the movie, set in Christmas 1940 is all about tangible fear of war, and its consequences on human progress (one of the other key…
SAW: at home
A brave statement on war and humanity. A peculiar look into the future visually and theortically.
very exciting. heavy handed but was going to be. actually more like club handed. but thinking of when made, is really brilliant work. and then think about h.g. wells writing at turn of century. in league with lang's ' metropolis ', though of course not that major.
A film in three parts. Starts with another World War (not surprising considering it was made shortly before WW II). Then a grim post-apocalyptic future where there is tribal fighting and a despot in charge. Finally an enlightened age with sets that look like Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers. The underlying message in all three seems to be: do we strive for better things, or settle for a world where every does what they want, leading to things like war, bullying, plagues, etc... As timely a message now as it was back then. The special effects are very good, considering it is such an old film. Just a little bit too preachy for me...
Stunning in its design and ambition, but something of a chore in its storytelling. H.G. Wells' script covers almost a century from the destruction of England in a war, through post-devastation feudalism, up to a glittering future in which science and art are at perpetual loggerheads. Each jump in time offers a new, believable vision of a possible world, but then gets bogged down in didactic dialogue and thin characterizations. Worth watching for its grandeur and vision, but not all that compelling.
An intelligent script, and worth seeing if you're a fan of the genre
Wow. Från BlähääurrrghhzzzZZzz till oooooohh!
"Curse these world-communications!"
H. G. Wells was 16 months from predicting World War II but thought it'd take us 70 years longer than it actually did to land on the moon.
I love Mad Max. But to suggest the post-apocalyptic genre didn't exist before Miller invented it is to ignore the second act of Things to Come. I didn't realize movies could get this epic in scale until at least the late 50's. And up until a very goofy-looking 2036 is depicted (the result of the technology available to the filmmakers, obviously), the world has reverted to medieval times and is coping with stagnant war, and it looks pretty good.
There are better ways to approach themes of devastation, disaster, and the end of days, but this movie manages to fit power-struggle and hope into a dismal picture of what life might look like 100 years from even today.
*Part of the Things to Come film series @ SECCA
UPDATED: April 23, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Will likely soon be updating…