By J. P. Telotte
Technology fiction movies have a good time and critique the effect of a burgeoning expertise at the world's cultural, political, and social milieu.
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Additional info for A Distant Technology: Science Fiction Film and the Machine Age
In his later films, with his tramp persona more elaborately drawn and thoroughly established with movie audiences worldwide, Chaplin turns that Machine Age world into a far more active antagonist. As its title implies, Modern Times (1936) offers probably the best gloss on this relationship. Here Chaplin's tramp is, from the start, out of step with the machine world, as he works on an assembly line, performing a mindless, repetitive Page 7 1. The little tramp at odds with the assembly line in Modern Times.
In Things to Come, Cabal Points to the Future 154 35. The Technological Utopia of Things to Come 156 36. The People Attack the Space Gun in Things to Come 158 37. Crowds Waiting to View the "Democracity" Diorama 172 38. The Electrical Products, Westinghouse, and General Electric Pavilions at the 1939 World's Fair 174 39. The Entertainment Zone of the New York World's Fair 176 40. The Trylon and Perisphere Seen from Rainbow Ave. at the New York World's Fair 181 Page ix Acknowledgments A number of people have contributed their time, resources, and general knowledge to the creation of this book and deserve special note.
More than just an indication of how important the locomotive is to him, this picture tells us precisely what is on, or in, his mind, in fact, how much his mind is guided by a kind of machine model. He thinks in a very simple cause-and-effect, linear, train-like way, and he acts accordingly. And yet a troubling undercurrent always threatens that characterization. In her discussion of the Machine Age in America, Cecelia Tichi describes a key shift that occurs in the era. While in the nineteenth century, she suggests, "machine technology, like the forces of nature," often came to represent instability, to suggest "horrific, destabilizing energies loosed in the universe," "chaotic natural energies" against which the individual seemed practically helpless (52, 53), with the coming of the Machine Age those same images were often transformed into ones of stability and efficiency, typically linked to the machine itself.