Man and the Machine - The Future of Technology from the Past - Fri. May 31 - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Man and the Machine - The Future of Technology from the Past, a program of vintage films about computers, robots and other omnipresent technological marvels.  In Microworld (1976) an overly dramatic William Shatner explores the oddly psychedelic world of microprocessors.  Ray Bradbury's The Veldt (1970s) features a nuclear family in a computerized home that leads to deadly results.  Isaac Asimov and Walter Cronkite investigate The Weird World of Robots (1968). Go behind the scenes of turning Yul Brenner into a killer cyborg in The Westworld Production Short (1973). Presaging the current internet matchmaking trend, Comput-Her Baby is a wacky art film spoofing the notion of computer-assisted love in 1967. IBM commissioned Ray and Charles Eames to create the short cartoon The Information Machine (1958) chronicling man's relation to data processing.  With more surprises, trailers and commercials in store!

Date: Friday, May 31st, 2013 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Microworld (Color, 1976) 

Host William Shatner explores the oddly psychedelic world of silica and microprocessorsThis AT&T-produced film is chock full of outdated notions of the future and obsolete technology.

The Veldt (Color, 1970s)
A creepy and chillingly adapted short story by Ray Bradbury. Parents George and Lydia live with their two children Peter and Wendy in "The Happylife Home," a fully automatic residence with machines that do everything for them.  The two children are especially taken with the nursery, a room with virtual reality that will recreate anything their brains desire.  The parents begin to worry as the pair spend more and more time in the nursery, which seems to be permanently fixed on African grasslands featuring a pair of lions gruesomely gnawing on bones in the distance.  When George and Lydia decide to move out to the country to get away from their computerized domicile, the children and lions have other ideas.

Westworld Production Short (Color, 1973)

In Michael Crichton’s film Westworld, the road trip extends beyond the highway and into space. In the future, only the super-wealthy are able to afford trips to amusement park “worlds,” where they are free of all rules and laws. Yul Brenner stars as a Gunslinger android in the Old West themed park, which goes haywire and begins to attack the guests. This short focuses on the production of Westworld, providing a bizarre behind-the-scenes look at the many amusement parks featured in the film, and mostly importantly, Brenner’s detachable face.

The Information Machine (Color, 1958)
Ray and Charles Eames directed this cartoon about the progress of man's ability to process information, culminating in the computer, which at that point was little more than a giant, complicated data-processor.  Produced for IBM.

The Weird World of Robots (1968)
Famed sci-fi author and futurist Isaac Asimov and Walter Cronkite investigate the strange and 
surreal world of  robotics in the 1960s. Asimov advocates a race of "worker robots" to do the 
blue collar work for planet earth. Watch a robotic dog (Old Yaller), human amplifiers, a centaur and robotic machines designed to stimulate human responses to medical students. Later the "grave" questions are posed: "There is no question that man can live with the robot. The 
question is, can the robot live with man."

Comput-Her Baby (Color, 1968) A wacky short musical/art film that spoofs the prospect of love and dating in the computer age. Sweet and strangely prescient.

The World of Tomorrow (1939)
Watch Elektro, the robot and his human master smoke a cigarette at the 1939 World's Fair! 

Signal Syntax (1980)
Ridiculous, bizarre low budget short about killer computers that violently do away with their owners.  Featuring vintage computer technology, this John Remington film poses is an omen to the grudge against humanity personal computers of the future will hold.

For the Early Birds:

The Challenge of Tomorrow (Color, 1964)
This RCA promotional film contains some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful Kodachrome color and stunning visuals in the Oddball Film Archive. Covers the RCA corporation’s multi-faceted electronic manufacturing and entertainment fields; from electron tube manufacturing, very rare footage vinyl record manufacturing and recording, TV cameras, computers, space technology and more. The retro future never looked better!