Things to Come (1936)
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Things to Come is not H.G. Wells' most subtle work, and as a film, it makes for a demagogic experience. Made in 1936, it almost eerily gets things right by having a second World War start in 1940, but then of course goes on a different track as the war drags on for decades and destroys civilization. It is then rebuilt by reasonable scientists and engineers and 100 year from the the film's "now", this new society launches its first ship into space amidst controversy. So it's difficult to follow characters for any length of time, if you can really call them characters. They are mostly sermon delivery devices there to make socialist points. But then this is a symbolist work, taking place in a place called Everytown, and as time grinds on, the montages owe a lot to Eisenstein's own demagogic films. When the film really shines is the special effects, combining models and live footage in a spectacle of a quality not seen since Metropolis. But bold visuals aside, it's more a lecture than a story.
Not as good as I expected it to be but still, a very good movie. Like Metropolis before it and many other H. G. Wells stories, way ahead of its time.
Way ahead of it's time. Even though we didn't had to wait until 2036 for our first trip to the moon.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #40 in Total Sci-Fi's The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies
This movie ranks #82 in BFI's 100 Science Fiction Films
This movie ranks #102 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #114 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #340 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #785 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #891 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #921 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life