Retro-Tech - Vintage Computer Shorts from the Archive - Fri. Sep. 9th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Retro-Tech - Vintage Computer Shorts from the Archive, a program of 16mm films from the 60s-80s about the rise of computer technology and the early predictions for an automated future. From William Shatner explaining microprocessors to killer-computers, the original computer dates, 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 AT&T sponsored Microworld (1976). Presaging the current internet matchmaking trend, Comput-Her Baby is a wacky art film spoofing the notion of computer-assisted love in 1967. The Oddball favorite Signal Syntax (1980) will have you watching out for your personal computer, because it might be trying to kill you. It's not Monty Python, but John Cleese attempts to answer that burning early-80s question: What is a Word Processor? (1982). View early computer-generated animation and imagery in Bruce and Katharine Cornwell's Dragonfold and Other Ways to Fill Space (1979), John Wilson's Both Sides Now (1972) the first computer generated music short featuring the musical stylings of Joni Mitchell, the parasitological applications of computer graphics in Shapes of Nature: Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (1981), and even more! Everything screened on 16mm film from our massive stock footage collection.

Date: Friday, September 9th, 2016 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Shatner explores the oddly psychedelic world of silica and microprocessorsThis AT&T-produced film is chock full of outdated notions of the future and obsolete technology.

What is a Word Processor? (Color, 1982, excerpt)
It's almost too terrible to sit through (and we won't watch it all), but this British film introduces the viewer to the must-have features of that word-crunching wonder (shown here as an early gargantuan version) that'd go on to make the typewriter redundant. This early 80's industrial film is also noteworthy for it's co-star, a sort of poor man's John Cleese. (…No wait, that actually is John Cleese!?!)

InterBook Pro:Users:interference:Downloads:10440805_847229085361372_1033371257407868114_n.jpgDragonfold and Other Ways to Fill Space (Color, 1979)
Various geometric phenomena (the Sierpinski curve, tessellation) are illustrated on-screen in this computer-animated educational film. The makers, Bruce and Katharine Cornwell of Brooklyn, NY, were a prolific pair (R.I.P.) who produced many other charming works such as “Journey to the Center of a Triangle.”

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.

Both Sides Now (Color, 1972) 
Pioneering computer animation from John Wilson, whose career started in the late 1940’s (winning Oscars for Gerald McBoing-Boing and Toot, Whistle, Plunk, Boom). This short was the first computer generated music film and was produced for and aired on the Sonny and Cher TV show. The song (unsurprisingly) is Both Sides Now by the great Canadian chanteuse Joni Mitchell.

Shapes of Nature: Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (Color, 1981)
This computer-generated study of a common farming pest took on a bizzare, Tron-like supernatural beauty in the hands of leading scientists of the day.

Discovering Computers (Color, 1982) 
File this educational film designed to teach elementary school kids about computer basics under: "unintentionally hilarious". Early computer graphics, staged scenes of kids playing grown-up, and NASA space simulations all combine for one floppy drive full of fun.

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 250 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.
About Oddball Films
Oddball Films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like The Nice Guys and Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Transparent and Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world. Our screenings 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.