Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Future of the Past

The science-fiction genre is often preoccupied with the notion of the future, primarily because, in the future, things will have advanced in one direction or another and anything will be possible. For decades, filmmakers have been creating movies that are set in the near future and offer up predicitions about what advances our society will have undergone. Now, however, we can look upon such films of the future as films of the past, which, even though in their own present they seemed futuristic, managed to leave off some future developments that we in the present can look on as past. Now what was their present's future is our present's past, or at least very near future, so clearly we have some perspective on the issue. I just hope this doesn't unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum.

"Future" YearFilmPredictionStuff They Missed
19841984The "Ministry of Truth" broadcasts propaganda.All government departments broadcast propaganda.
19841984Thought Police monitor everyone to eliminate thoughtcrime.They can also look at your library records.
1996Demolition ManConvicts are held in cryo-prisons.Convicts are held in over-crowded prisons.
1997Terminator 2Three billion lives are lost on "Judgment Day."Millions of viewers waste their lives watching "Judge Judy."
20th Cent.BrazilCharacters have fantasies to the tune of "Brazil."No one had "Achy Breaky Heart" stuck in their heads.
20th Cent.BrazilThe government is constantly arresting and torturing the wrong people, but won't admit it.They caught Abu Farraj al-Libbi, the, like, #3 guy.
2000MetropolisCities are filled with skyscrapers.Many buildings are designed by Frank Gehry.
2000MetropolisMulti-level roads lead in every direction.Americans spend forty hours a year stuck in traffic.
20012001: A Space OdysseyThere are manned deepspace missions.Mars satellites take pictures of each other.
20012001: A Space OdysseyHAL, the mission computer, sabotages the space crew.In real life, HAL would have lost all data and displayed a frightening blue screen.
2015Back to the Future Part IIHoverboards! Hovercars! Multi-screen TVs! Kitchen Auto-Hydrators!X-Games! Hybrids! Tivo! Rabbit corkscrews!
2019Running ManThe U.S. is a militarized police state.Orange alert.
2019Running ManConvicts are forced to endure televised pain for the audience's pleasure.Reality show contestants' televised pleasure is responsible for the audience's pain.
2029Terminator 2The Skynet computer creates timetravel.No one from the future showed up at that MIT party.
2032Demolition ManThe merging of San Diego and Los Angeles creates the megolopolis of "San Angeles.""The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."
2032Demolition ManAll restaurants are Taco Bell.All stores are Wal-Mart.
2032Demolition ManArnold Schwarzenegger has already been U.S. president.Arnold Schwarzenegger has already been a really bad California governor.

Indexed by tags film, future, time travel, predicitions, 1984, Demolition Man, Terminator 2, Brazil, Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to the Future Part II, Running Man.


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