Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Things to Come

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, published in 1933, more than any other of his works cememnted H.G. Wells as a true visionary. He all but predicted World War II and the devastation aerial bombing would cause. In his case, he saw the war lasting to the Sixties and it many ways it did and it still continues. Through this novel he also expounds on his thoughts of a Utopian society. While his ideas of a benevolent world dictator may not sit well with many there are some interesting aspects to the idea always worthy of discussion. Here, with a shortened title and a screenplay written by Wells himself, the tale of two families and their opposing views unfold. William Cameron Menzies, who took a second Oscar (honorary at that!) for his contributions to GONE WITH THE WIND, was without a doubt a serious Hollywood heavyweight in his day and THINGS TO COME is a departure from his normal style. Perhaps it was the complex set requirements that drew him to this project...who knows. What is known is this remains a true pioneering classic in science fiction cinematography and the great Toronto boy Raymond Massey is superb in it. This is one you need to take your time with, it doesn't bludgeon you with action and special effects, no, it's far more subtle than that but over seventy years later it's message of the plagues of war still rings true.


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