The Dawn of the Planet of the Computers - Thur. Sep. 4th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents The Dawn of the Planet of the Computers, a program of vintage films about the rise of computer technology and the early predictions for an automated future. From Ray Bradbury Sci-Fi to William Shatner explaining microprocessors, animation and more, take a look at the future of technology through the eyes of the past.  Science Fiction's perennial Captain, William Shatner gets trippy with silica and microprocessors in the psychedelic AT&T sponsored Microworld (1976).  Ray Bradbury's The Veldt (1982) features a nuclear family in a computerized home that leads to deadly results. Presaging the current internet matchmaking trend, Comput-Her Baby is a wacky art film spoofing the notion of computer-assisted love in 1967. The wacky Signal Syntax (1980) will have you watching out for your personal computer, because it might be trying to kill you. Incredible Machine (1968) previews the latest developments in computer-assisted imagery, electronic music, and voice processing. Hypothese Beta (1967), an Academy Award nominated film features an isolated computer punch card who creates chaotic and deadly disorder. Come early for Dan Rather's warning that The Computers are Coming (1983).

Date: Thursday, September 4th, 2014 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Shatner explores the oddly psychedelic world of silica and microprocessorsThis AT&T-produced film is chock full of outdated notions of the future and obsolete technology.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, 1982)

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. Co-starring a 12-year-old Jason Bateman.

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.

Signal Syntax (Color, 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.

Incredible Machine (Color, 1968) 
The crew from Bell Laboratories demonstrates novel uses of the computer in audio-visual communication research: computer generated graphics; computer-assisted design of an electronic circuit drawn with a light-pen on a cathode-ray tube; simulation of human speech and singing; and composition of music and of abstract or figurative color pictures and animation films.

Learning About Computers (Color, 1984)
Roger has to write a report for school about computers, but he can't quite wrap his head around the workings of his Apple 2C.  That is, until he falls asleep and has a magical dream where his computer comes to life, turns his hair sparkling silver (you know, because it's a dream) and demonstrates the inner-workings of himself with women in CPU costumes dancing on a silicon bandstand.

Hypothèse Beta (Color, 1967)

An Oscar-nominated French filmed animation from director Jean-Charles Meunier, which deals with an isolated computer punch card perforation who tries to join groups of well-behaved perforations, is rebuffed, and finally manages to create complete disorder. Remember punch cards? Neither do I.

For the Early Birds:

The Computers Are Coming (Color, 1983)

Discusses the future of computers from the historical perspective of 1983.  Will they be friend or foe to the coming generations?  Will wayward youths be lured into the criminal world of computer hacking?  Are computers smarter than people?  Learn this and more in this CBS, Dan Rather driven investigation into the silicon future. A true cultural and historical treasure, that contains images of early personal computers and computer generated animation. A professor even claims that the personal computer has no future. Oh, how far we have come!

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.