"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!"
February 12, 2017 8:11 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I recently watched 'Glasgow 1980' on Vimeo, a film made in 1971 about what Glasgow would be like in the future, and we loved being able to see which plans and predictions worked and which didn't. Now we want to watch more documentaries made in the past about a future that has already gone - what should we watch, and where can we find more films in this genre?

Documentaries about city planning and development are particularly appreciated, but anything about the way that people in the past imagined the future would be great!
posted by matthew.alexander to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Future Shock, narrated by Orson Welles.
posted by carrienation at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2017

The original concept film for EPCOT from Walt Disney, circa 1966.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:33 AM on February 12, 2017

The Home Of The Future: Year 1999 A.D. made in 1967
Futurama 1939 New York World's Fair "To New Horizons" depicting the far off year of 1960
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:44 AM on February 12, 2017

  • It's text, not film, but you might be interested in As We May Think.
  • Douglas Engelbart's Demo.
  • Things to Come—fiction, of course, but still reflective of what people thought the future would be. Likewise Metropolis in many respects.

posted by adamrice at 10:27 AM on February 12, 2017

AT&T's 1993 "You Will" campaign nailed a lot of modern-day tech.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:41 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

The World of Tomorrow is an excellent mid-80s documentary about the 1939 New York World's Fair, narrated by Jason Robards. It incorporates some of the "New Horizons" film Rob Rockets links to (and thanks, I'd never seen that whole thing before).
posted by Rash at 4:36 PM on February 12, 2017

There is the classic of the genre, Telly Savalas looks at Birmingham. When he probably never set foot there.
posted by almostwitty at 5:51 AM on February 15, 2017

On the Glasgow theme, Cumbernauld: Town for Tomorrow is well worth watching.
posted by Jabberwocky at 3:14 PM on February 16, 2017

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