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Festivale online magazine
A Reel Life film section
December, 2000

This month's issue

Go to the front page of the film sectionsee the latest additions to Festivale

Come the Millennium

The end of the Millennium is nigh. Two thousand years by the current calendar, which when you consider how many times we've mucked around with the way we count time doesn't really mean anything. Bill Cosby made the point once in The Cosby Show: why do we make such a big deal of anniversaries just because they are divisible by five?

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Last Month:
Ali asked, do the people who play themselves in film help or hinder the experience for the audience?
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According to some, it's because we have five digits on each hand, and therefore have developed a base-ten counting system. By gosh, what a smart species we are.

Here at Festivale we have been speculating about the ultimate film night to end the Millennium. Science Fiction films, of course. The Shape of Things to Come, the British telemovie 1989, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Metropolis.

Science Fiction is less about the future than the present. Because everything we say and do is affected by who and when we are, stories that speculate about the impact of changes to technology (social and machine) tell us more about the time in which they were written.

Look at the SF of the Fifties, with all the cold war fears. On the one hand the 'red' and 'yellow' menaces, on the other a fear that we will all end up radioactive ashes without an epiphany (On the Beach, The Twenty-Seventh Day). War of the Worlds

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In the sixties we saw the sexy side of SF, remember the Barbarella or the beach party SF movie Mars Needs Women. Should humans go into outer space?The Day the Earth Stood Still In the seventies we tried to take coolness out into space with Dark Star; we worried about the environment with Silent Running and Soylent Green; and of course, we revisited space opera with Star Wars.

We believed that the new millennium would bring a world where technology fixed the problems that people created, or that people would suffer from a heartless technology. What we have discovered is that while many extrapolations based on human nature have come to pass (like gross-out advertising and real-life big brother television shows), the great dreams of space travel and lunar vacations and pollution-free, poverty-free, fear-free life are woefully missing. Looks like the next millennium will just be more of the same.

by Ali Kayn

Richard Hryckiewicz suggested:
End of the World: When Worlds Collide and Twenty Million Miles to Earth Future: Time Machine

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Festivale Online Magazine
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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