I was going through my movie DVD's and as I flipped past the movie Rollerball (1975) starring James Caan, I realized that it was set in the far-flung year of 2018, and that by odd coincidence it just happens to be... 2018.
Starting in the 1970's, I was always fascinated with portrayals of the future, and how the world would be different in the future. And despite that we have laptop computers and cel phones, and at least the beginning of self-driving cars, and flat screen TV's, most of what I see in the city I live in is still the same place I grew up in, with just a few new technological toys.
Movies like PLANET OF THE APES, and BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, and SOYLENT GREEN, and the aforementioned ROLLERBALL. Other movies like WESTWORLD and the sequel FUTUREWORLD, LOGAN'S RUN, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and one I though was far better 2010: ODYSSEY TWO, MAD MAX, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and older movies like FORBIDDEN PLANET, all gave a vision of the future, some of which actually came true.
THINGS TO COME.
But even when it didn't and the technology portrayed became dated, I've always been impressed with how futuristic settings still somehow remain... well... futuristic. Even when dated and obsolete, there is still a magic to how they envisioned the future in decades past.
And some things like flip-phones I see as clearly influenced by STAR TREK, and perhaps engineers who are TREK fans who wanted to emulate that in their cel phone designs.
They give us hope of something to look forward to in the future. Even some, like the TERMINATOR franchise, manage to be dystopian and yet inspire hope at the same time. That a dark future is possible, but we have the ability to change future history, and take things down a better track.
Another I can think of, MINORITY REPORT (the Tom Cruise version) in some ways reminded me of those 1970's future movies, where Cruise's character walks in his apartment and says "I'm home" and the computer turns on soft music and lights to his desired pre-settings. And as he's walking through shopping areas, eye scanners recognize each individual person, and play advertising aimed specifically at the known interests and shopping habits of the particular person walking by. We're beginning to see that already, where Google and other search engine offer you ads for stuff you've previously looked at online. So far the world is pretty much the same as the 1970's in many ways. But our present futures starting to move in a creepy direction.
Cameras on every street intersection and shopping center.
Voice-activated TV sets that could be used to spy on their owners.
Welcome to the future, not as we imagined it.