Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Future Shock (1972)

According to a review in The History Teacher, the movie Future Shock, hosted by Orson Welles, was shown on American TV in early 1974.

While the reviewer calls it, "one of the most provocative short films of the past decade," I dare call it the single weirdest film to ever claim the genre of documentary. Below is a clip of the introduction by Orson Welles.

The film is based on the book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler and chronicles what is claimed to be a new affliction that will soon overcome the globe.

You can find Future Shock on the DVD Yesterday's Tomorrows Today, released by A/V Geeks.


Arkonbey said...

first, it's always a shame to see the director or Citizen Kane and the Magnificent Ambersons to be scraping the bottom of the barrel (though this is not as bad as cheap wine-selling)

Secondly, it is funny to see him puffing on a big ol' stogie in the airport.

Thirdly, another thing about the future that shows Pan Am. Ha!

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Unknown said...

I remember seeing "Future Shock" in school sometime in the late Seventies and finding the supposely scary future it depicted more interesting than shocking. I had seen my fill of Seventies cautionary documentaries about blasted, starving, oppressed or lifeless future worlds. Any world in which people were generally physically comfortable, and the great threats (as I recall) were people walking around with funny skin colors and taking lots of pills, didn't seem so bad by comparison.

I think the notion of finding new technologies paralyzingly unnerving, in and of themselves, only really makes sense to adults; kids are used to encountering new things.

Anonymous said...

can't help but snicker at the mention of the "sophisticated" 70s technology. did they really think they were THAT advanced??

Unknown said...

Oh, I think it's fair to say that by the standards of human history as a whole, early 1970s technology was almost unimaginably advanced. People had just walked on the Moon!

In the paleo-futuristically important area of transportation, there had just been a multi-decade-long explosion of astonishing improvements, and in some ways things haven't advanced much since then. At the time of "Future Shock", the Boeing 747 was already flying and the Concorde was only a few years away from service.

Jett Loe said...

What a fantastic intro! I don't know who directed 'Future Shock' but Welles seemed to influence any project he was in just be his sheer presence / the fecundity of his creativity: notice how's he shot on a 'moving walkway' advancing to the camera through the use of a machine while the P.A. System says "May I have your attention please."

Unknown said...

Very interesting film. Some of the ideas presented at the beginning of the movie are direct parallels to Dr. Barry Schwartz who gave a very interesting talk on how more choice is not always better. His talk is entitled "The Paradox of Choice - Why More is Less", and is available on google video: