Arguably Hollywood’s very first major science-fiction film, JUST IMAGINE was reportedly inspired by the grim METROPOLIS (1927). This rarely-seen film is a fascinating musical comedy set in the then unimaginably distant future of 1980 – a future of personal airships and rockets to Mars! With its unique and unconventional look, it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Art Direction in 1930.
Today, most films set in the future portray a bleak, dystopian, even apocalyptic world. “Just Imagine’s vision of the future is a playful utopia. Prohibition may still be a nuisance in their 1980 – but the hero can still woo his girl by flying to Mars – although he discovers the planet’s ruler is a showgirl in a chrome sarong!”
- Production designer John Muto, co-founder of the ADG Film Series.
5:30PM: Before the feature, a presentation will explore the film's legacy of futurism in American movies, as well as honor the film’s legendary Oscar-winning production designer Stephen Goosson for his major design contributions to this highly influential film. A series of clips illustrating the influence of JUST IMAGINE on such films as THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997), BLADE RUNNER (1982), MINORITY REPORT (2002), THINGS TO COME (1936), LOGAN'S RUN (1976), BRAZIL (1985), and SLEEPER (1973) will be run.
6:00PM: Screening of JUST IMAGINE
8:00PM: Discussion following the film with Nicholas Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy at USC’s Annenberg School. Cull’s books include Projecting Empire: Imperialism and the Popular Cinema and the forthcoming Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema. John Muto will moderate.