Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Future Shock (1972)

Based on Alvin Toffler's 1970 book of the same name, "Future Shock" is a short documentary addressing rapid changes in technology and society's struggle to adjust to them.

Orson Welles narrates this oddity that plays more like a mondo film than any documentary I've seen. It focuses on society adapting to change (both technological advances and changing views) instead of odd practices and pockets of people civilization forgot. True to mondo form, the heavier segments are juxtaposed with light-hearted scenes. All of it was fairly silly, though. There are a lot of "what if" segments suggesting certain things might be common place in the future, some more ridiculous than others. While same sex marriage, computer generated art and prosthesis are prevalent today, we haven't yet reached the age of androids checking us in at the airport or people altering their DNA to change their skin color. There are some great scenes of robotic men walking around with dramatic synth music underlining how creepy this is supposed to be.

This works because of it's 42 minute running time. Any longer than that and it would start to deteriorate for me, I imagine. The dated effects, excellent narration and score and overall paranoia made for an interesting viewing. This probably isn't something I'd want to watch again, but it was decent enough the first time through.


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