Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM at the Egyptian Theatre is a spectacular multi-media event examining how
We Imagined the Future - In the Past... visions ranging from the outlandish to the on target!
"Dr. Zarkov, Ask the Robot to Fetch My Zeppelin: Art Deco Era Imagines the Future"
Co-Presented with the Art Deco Society Los Angeles
If you love futuristic design, then this multi-media lecture (approx. 45 min.) is for you. Delivered in Walter Nelson's usual witty style, Nelson examines the future as it was viewed in the past. The lecture is followed by a screening of THINGS TO COME. The 1920s and 30s were a time of rapid technological change, and those who experienced it expected that change would continue at the same hectic pace into the future. In extrapolating from their own time, they foresaw a time of mega-cities, robot servants, space ships, giant aircraft and any number of other scientific wonders. They also generally saw the future as a better place than the present (especially during the Great Depression) and the Art Deco style of design embraced that optimistic view.
THINGS TO COME, 1936, 100 min. Director William Cameron Menzies (INVADERS FROM MARS and of course, GONE WITH THE WIND) directs H. G. Wells' apocalyptic sci-fi novel, with input from Wells himself. A World War that begins in 1940 lasts until 1966 when a plague hits the planet and destroys half the population. Isolated primitive communities struggle through, but it soon becomes apparent a pocket of humanity has not only survived war and disease but has made enormous strides in technological achievement and design. With Raymond Massey, Ralph Richardson. THINGS TO COME was an influential film on Forrest J Ackerman. The film, with its incredible angled Deco sets was clipped in the documentary on Forry that screened at his tribute on March 8th. See it now in its entirety. (Screened from a digital source).
Walter Nelson has been involved in numerous aspects of public history for over thirty years, and has participated in hundreds of living history programs in the US and Britain covering eras from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. He has lectured on topics such as Victorian etiquette, historical games, phrenology, historical costume and the history of dance.
He has been involved in organizing highly successful "Vintage Dance" programs such as the "Jane Austen Evening" and the "Avalon Ball". He also works as a consultant in historical programs for organizations like the Huntington Library, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Rancho Los Cerritos.
Audience members are encouraged to come in Futuristic Costumes... Steam Punks, 1930s Aliens, Flash Gordon... are all welcome! Not sure what a steam punk is? Here is a "steam punk styled computer."