Friday Productivity Killer #2: The “Future Shock” Film, Featuring Orson Welles

future shock

Here’s another Friday distraction for you: the film documentary version of Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock, narrated by none other than Orson Welles. This is ’70s film documentary at its most ’70s documentary-est, complete with dystopian themes, weird jump-cuts, a soundtrack that’s equal parts jazz-funk and creepy atonal music, and a celebrity narrator whose best days are clearly behind him. Welles had hit the Michael Caine “I’ll act in anything” point, from that regrettable shilling for terrible wine to that infamous recording session for a frozen peas ad:

…which was later parodied — and with the swearing excised — to a likely unaware audience in Animaniacs:

Here’s Welles at the intro of the film:

In the course of my work, which takes me to just about every corner of the globe, I see many aspects of a phenomenon which I’m just beginning to understand. Our modern technologies have achieved a degree of sophistication beyond our wildest dreams. But this technology has exacted a pretty heavy price. We live in an age of anxiety, a time of stress, and with all our sophistication we all are in fact the victims of our own technological strength! We are the victims of shock…of FUTURE shock!

And here’s the film — 49 minutes of cheese-tastic techno-dystopia, through 1970s eyes. Enjoy!

2 replies on “Friday Productivity Killer #2: The “Future Shock” Film, Featuring Orson Welles”

Wow, did they ever overestimate how far and fast technology would move. Forty years later and AI robots are still slowly finding their way through a room of blocks. Almost no movement on genetic manipulation.

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