All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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.
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…
Quaint vision of the future with some hammy acting, but powerful visuals. The movie is strongest in the beginning. Predating WWII by only a few years, the movie makes some startling predictions that came to pass. But as the movie reaches further into the future, it becomes increasingly silly. I mean from the vantage point of 2013, it's funny to see that the filmmakers imagined 2036 as an underground world full of futuristic sets and man skirts. A world where we haven't even been to space yet. A world where men rail against the evils of "progress" itself. The movie deals in vast, broad strokes where characters speak only in terms of lofty subjects: peace, progress, death. Little is personal in this movie, but how can it be when it bounces from generation to generation so fast? It's a fascinating movie, but not a very affecting one.
Extremely ambitious, yet not completely satisfying. Much like Tomorrowland, it has big ideas about the future and what it could be and should be. It also has the problem of being overly didactic about those ideas, and relying too much on dialogue to get them across. Even with its great use of miniatures, Things to Come wasn't as visually dynamic as I had hoped. The montage of constructing the futuristic city was remarkable, but it took an hour to get to that magical moment. Had it been more direct or focused it would have been more effective.
With that being said, its sprawling and ambitious nature is unique to a film made during this time. It's ambiguous about what the future should be. I liked that I couldn't quite decide which side I fell on towards the end. Sure, aspects are goofy and clunky, but it should be commended for trying.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
H.G. Wells' prediction of the future adapted from his 1935 essay, The Shape of Things to Come. This film is set sequentially in three different story arcs. First, in a future 1940, war ushers in a 30 year period of famine, pestilence and social disorder. In 1970, 30 years of war has reduced society to a bombed out, primitive existence plagued by famine, disease and social disorder. There is a zombie-ush sub plot there. Finally, in 2036 a technologically advanced society is ready to send humans into space. The first was the best directed; showing the citizens of Everytown (actually London) preparing for Christmas on the eve of war. Director William Menzies effectively used rapid cutting to contrast between scenes…
UK science fiction based on the H.G. Wells story, it features excellent special effects, strong themes and a good performance by Raymond Massey.
“We needed airplanes against the hill states. Somebody else would have started again with airplanes and gas and bombs if we hadn't. These people would come interfering anyhow.” ~Chief's Assistant
“Why was science ever allowed, why was it ever let begin? Science is the enemy of everything natural in life.” ~Chief
Christmas, 1940, music stirs the crowd. Businesses are booming and no one is the wiser to the dangers of war (even though the signs are literally all around them). The (then) modern world see's their happiness where they are, oblivious to that which shall soon befall them. Everytown, so aptly named, because it engenders all of society, quickly devolves as airplanes descend upon it, mimicking the events of the…
Well, the script is terrible, and the acting is wooden, but happily little things like that don't really matter in a movie that is all about production design, and what better maestro of that than Menzies? The story of "Everytown" (read: London) is told 3 segments: the beginning of a new World War in 1940, the 1970 aftermath in the dark-age fiefdom ravaged by the "Walking Sickness" plague, and the 2036 technocracy where a luddite sculptor leads the rabble in rebellion against the impending firing of a "space gun" straight out of A TRIP TO THE MOON. Despite the film's many weaknesses story-wise, each part has amazing strengths. 1940: the Eisenstein-like montage of the Xmas war preparations and the bone-chillingly…
March Around The World 2015 Challenge film #28.
politics driven science fiction that hauntingly extrapolates the message conveyed by the signs of its time. it's a great metaphor that is still widely used today.
a corrupted society that transitions to various governance and power. it eventually attains with the will of the people layered with the marvelous set production and design of future earth blended with the existing technology.
funny the spices and splices of war radiates even with fantasy. as it also provide memorable anecdotes and unforgettable futuristic set pieces.
Why is everything in the future always white and metallic?
Pretty incredible effects for the time period. Interesting take on the future as well. Just a bit heavy handed for me, and when a film sacrifices character for conversation, I get a bit distant. This isn't always the case, but in Things to Come, it just didn't hit the spot for me fully. Still a pretty intriguing watch.
- H.G. Wells intended the picture to be opposite Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" in every way.
- Christmas/war --> the Wandering Sickness, the cinematic inspiration for zombies in the decades to come --> Chief zombie killer becomes Master of "independent sovereign state"; meets older Cabal in spacesuit and demands planes (Master wants to protect "dear land" and the invention of post-war aircraft would enable the protection of even more dear land - once it's been conquered, that is) --> the future created by engineers, a religion of science haunted by shadows of anti-progress barbarism --> though Wells portrays it triumphantly (that "gas of peace"), Cabal's son becomes a tyrant much like the Master before, framing the future of mankind by "conquest"…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 190/768 (25%)…
UPDATED: May 18, 2015
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…