The Fair of the Future - Progress and Innovation from the World's Fair - Thur. July 10th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents The Fair of the Future - Progress and Innovation from the World's Fair, a program of vintage films about and commissioned for World's Fairs of decades past that demonstrate the progress of the past and the promise of a new, automated future. Tour the fair and witness all the exciting sights and sounds of the 1939 New York World's Fair in the World of Tomorrow (1939), including Elektro, the Smoking Robot and GM's Futurama exhibit!  United Airlines commissioned the legendary Saul Bass to follow up his logo design with his promotional short From Here to There (1964), a jet-setting kaleidoscopic whirlwind of imagery.  Jerry Fairbanks produced the charmingly cheesy Century 21 Calling (1964) with two crazy kids touring the fair and learning all about the innovations of tomorrow at the Bell Telephone Pavilion.  Burlesque Queen Sally Rand shows off the progress of France and her famous fan dance at the the 1933 Chicago fair in The Streets of Paris (1933). Ship n' Shore Fashions wants you to see the future of machine-washable clothing with two giggling girls in Fashion Fair (1964). Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner talk about the very first World's Fair, back in 26 AD in a hilarious live performance of The 2,000 Year Old Man (1964). The British had filmmaker Don Levy extol their virtues and innovation for Montreal's Expo 67 in Opus (1967)  Associated Oil promises to Deliver the Goods! (1939) at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. And explore more of The Golden Gate International Exposition and the 1964 New York World's Fair in gorgeous color! See the sights, hear the sounds and step-back in history to see the promise of a future that already happened.

Date: Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Century 21 Calling (Color, 1964) 
From the cheese-meister Jerry Fairbanks (producer of the Speaking of Animals series), take an amazing romp through the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair as two happy-go-lucky kids make their way to the Bell Telephone Pavilion and try out al the latest gadgets from Ma Bell. As close as you’ll get to actually being there!

New York World’s Fair (World of Tomorrow) (Color, 1939) 
What does a nation choose to present in order to put forward an authoritative sense of national character? In New York World’s Fair, we primarily see nations defined through their architecture and athletics, as the film briefly touches on pavilions and performances from a few of the hundreds of participating nations. The World’s Fair had aspirations to promote cultural understanding, allowing tourists access to the world in one space. Towards the end of this short we also see predictions of the future from corporations such as General Motors. In their utopian version of future events, electricity and the motor unite all nations, therefore claiming technology as the true global equalizer.

Elektro The Smoking Robot (Color, 1939)
Crowds flocked to see Elektro, a robot built by Westinghouse Electric for the 1939 New York World's Fair. The talking Elektro described himself as a "smart fellow" with a "fine brain" consisting of 48 electrical relays that worked like a telephone switchboard.

Elektro was a bit of a wise-ass, making lame jokes, smoking cigarettes, and blowing up balloons. Elektro could walk (slowly), move his mouth, and turn his head. The 7-foot-tall creation took voice commands via a telephone handset.

Streets of Paris (Dir. Burton Holmes, B+W, 1933) 
A tour of the Paris pavilion at the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair exposition in Chicago features Sally Rand and her famous Fan Dance.

Two-Thousand Year Old Man (B+W, c. 1964)
Little wonder 1964 World's Fair organizer Robert Moses called on Mel Brooks's Two Thousand Year Old Man. After all, he worked with the original Moses on the first World's Fair. Carl Reiner gets the scoop on the primitive fun at the 0026 World's Fair in Morty's cave, when people paid good money to drop off cliffs! Oy, that was a good time!

Opus (Color, 1967)

Produced for world-wide distribution for the British Government (Central Office of Information) and for continuous showing in the British Pavilion of Expo ’67, Montreal was directed by famed experimental filmmaker Don Levy.  This film is a fascinating tour-de-force montage of British art, architecture, theater and fashions-all that was shocking in 1967. Opus is a whirlwind of music and montage of modern British machine sculptors, excerpts from Royal Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Homecoming by Harold Pinter, The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton under the direction of the marquis de Sade, directed by Peter Brook, extracts from Sir Frederick Ashton’s Ballet Monotones performed by the members of the Royal Ballet Company and swingin’ British fashions, cars and lifestyles!

Deliver the Goods (1939, B+W)

In anticipation of the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in 1939, the fine people at Associated Petroleum were dreaming of an American West criss-crossed by smoothly purring motors. The wonders of natural beauty are best appreciated by car and the Associated wants to service yours!

From Here to There (Color, 1964)
Without narration and using quick cuts and odd angles, Saul Bass creates a fast-paced and visually enticing collage of the golden age of air travel.  From the airports to the passengers; stunning aerial shots and minute details, this short will take you back in time and across the country like the 1960s jetsetter we all wish we were.  Commissioned by United Airlines for their tent at the 1964 World's Fair.

1939 Golden Gate International Exposition (Color, 1939, Silent) 
Absolutely stunning color scenes from the World’s Fair held on Treasure Island.  The Golden Gate International Exposition celebrated the modern industrial west, best symbolized by the completion of two engineering marvels—the Golden Gate and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges.  The fair was staged on another feat of modern engineering, the manmade Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.  The exposition’s “Pacifica” modern style, developed largely by San Francisco architects, merged western architecture with an interpretation of the buildings of Asia and South America.
Highlights most of the major sights, including the incredible Cavalcade of the Golden West with casts of 300, horses, wagons, and costumed actors re-enacting historic events, Count Basie and Harry Owens performing in the Temple Compound, and the famed “Gay Way” featuring an uncensored look inside the “Artists Models Studio” and much more- the next best thing to being there!
About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.