Frame By Frame: Things To Come
UNL Film Studies Professor Wheeler Winston Dixon talks about the British science-fiction classic written by H.G. Wells.
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
- [00:00:16.045]Hi, I'm Wheeler Winston Dixon, and this is Frame By Frame
- [00:00:18.820]and I'd like to talk for a moment about William Cameron Menzies'
- [00:00:22.094]forgotten science fiction classic, THINGS TO COME.
- [00:00:25.101]Everyone knows about METROPOLIS,
- [00:00:26.970]but THINGS TO COME, a British film,
- [00:00:28.537]accurately predicted many aspects of the future,
- [00:00:31.835]including television, rocket ships to the moon,
- [00:00:35.376]futuristic societies in which people would live in rarified atmospheres
- [00:00:40.914]with glass enclosures and high-rise buildings.
- [00:00:44.478]And it's based on the original screenplay by H.G. Wells,
- [00:00:48.123]which was the only screenplay that H.G. Wells wrote directly for the screen.
- [00:00:52.129]One of the most amazing things about THINGS TO COME
- [00:00:54.857]are Ned Mann's special effects.
- [00:00:57.400]People don't think about Ned Mann when it comes to special effects.
- [00:01:00.999]They think of Willis O'Brien or someone like Ray Harrhausen,
- [00:01:04.435]but Ned Mann was the British equivilent.
- [00:01:06.769]And William Cameron Menzies was a brilliant production designer
- [00:01:10.148]He designed GONE WITH THE WIND, which I'm sure you're familiar with
- [00:01:13.213]and if you look at Tara and the plantation sets,
- [00:01:16.684]they're all matte paintings.
- [00:01:18.019]And Menzies had this great sense of visual design,
- [00:01:21.316]and his projection of the future and particularly of warring political factions,
- [00:01:26.390]scientists versus artists... feudal communities which needed to be brought under control...
- [00:01:32.102]and it basically from 1935 tracks up to the year 2000,
- [00:01:37.234]and is remarkably accurate.
- [00:01:39.300]For a long time, this film was in the public domain,
- [00:01:41.541]but now it's under copyright again.
- [00:01:43.271]There's also a colorized version,
- [00:01:45.105]but I urge you to see the original black and white in 35mm.
- [00:01:48.983]One of the last things that the great special effects artist,
- [00:01:52.280]Ray Harryhaussen, did before his death
- [00:01:54.277]was to oversee a complete restoration of this film.
- [00:01:57.319]So if you've never seen THINGS TO COME,
- [00:01:59.757]I urge you to check it out.
- [00:02:01.289]THINGS TO COME, by William Cameron Menzies...
- [00:02:03.426]one of the forgotten masters of the cinema.
- [00:02:05.991]I'm Wheeler Winston Dixon, and this is Frame By Frame.
Log in to post comments