Lara's Blog

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Time travel and technology

on September 6, 2016
  • Primary Blog Question
    • When compared, the two film clips help illuminate a key question for this course: How has our relationship to technology changed over time?
  • Secondary Blog Questions
    • How has film technology changed?
    • How have we changed as film viewers?
    • How has our understanding of time evolved?
    • How does fiction/science fiction impact our relationship to technology?

The notion of time travel is a science fiction concept. We imagine time machines, read about them, visualize them, but as far as I know they don’t exist. If they did, everyone would be going back and forth between the past and future. It would be chaos.

The famous time machine is portrayed in two different versions of the film, both based on the 1895 book by H.G. Wells. Having watched only about a half hour of each film, there are many differences in film making technology, as well as setting, plot, and character. In this post I consider our relationship to technology over time by comparing the 1960 and the 2002 versions.

Props and scenery

  • 1960: Scenery includes numerous clocks and a tiny model of the time machine. Suspense is created through music crescendos and intense dialogue.
  • 2002: The time machine is life-sized and we see the man getting into it. This involves many special effects including the use of light reflecting off the spectacular machine.

Appeals to emotion and theory

  • 1960: The beginning of the movie shows several men in a sitting room of a large house on New Years Eve discussing the theory of time and how it moves. They are waiting for a man who has gone back in time, who suddenly returns from the past.
  • 2002: The beginning of the movie appeals to emotion by setting up a story of a professor asking his love to marry him; she is then killed. Here we see his motivation for wanting to go back in time rather than the actual theory.

As a viewer, I prefer older films that rely less on technology for special effects and leave more to imagination. However, I think that many viewers today enjoy such effects like those we see in the 2002 version.




3 Responses to “Time travel and technology”

  1. cnbs says:

    Hey Lara!
    I really enjoyed your commentary on the movie and the way you compared the two movies. The pictures of the time machines were cool. The 2002 time machine was poppin, lol!

  2. Interesting point that we want to use our imaginations less. We need to see the time machine. This point is even brought up in the first movie, about wanting to see proof with our own eyes.

  3. Zhigang Bai says:

    Nice pictures of the Time Machine, hope we can make one out of it!

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