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Friday
Nov212008

Moving Pictures to Show Schoolboys of 1995 Our Time (1920)

The March 18, 1920 Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA) declared that movies would help future generations better understand the past. This piece has striking similarities to 1920's predictions of movies replacing textbooks. The piece is also interesting to read side-by-side with "Big Laughs Coming" from the Modesto Evening News in 1922.

Every moving picture is a contribution, for the benefit of posterity, to the history of our time, its manners, its customs, its thoughts, its virtues and its follies.

 

To the schoolboy of the year 1995 history will not merely be something to be memorized out of books. It will be visualized and made real for him by the moving pictures that are being made now. The people of our time will not be mere history book ghosts to this boy but living creatures who smile at him and walk and play and love and hate and work and eat.

If only we had today moving pictures of the times of Washington and Lincoln! Imagine a Fourth of July celebration with moving pictures of the signing of the Declaration!

The historical value of moving picture plays will be as great as that of movies of current events. The 1920 photoplay exhibited in the year 1995 will serve as an exposition of the social life and manners of this period.

And, despite its faults, the present generation will make a fairly good showing when it appears in the movies before posterity in 1995 and thereabouts. The schoolboys of that time may laugh at some of the ways of their ancestors, but, in the main, they will agree that they were a pretty good sort at that.


Read more:
Movies Will Replace Texbooks (1922)
Thinks We'll Do Our Reading On Screen (1923)
Movie Theater of the Future (1930)
Movies to be Produced in Every Home (1925)
Big Laughs Coming (1922)

 

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Reader Comments (3)

"The people of our time will not be mere history book ghosts to this boy but living creatures who smile at him and walk and play and love and hate and work and eat."


Well... if i was to sit and watch through a movie about the 1920's back in 1995 i'd pay little attention to it.

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy

qft.

acting was shit back then.

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

This is, perhaps, the most striking prediction on this website. Even in the dawn of the film era they were aware of the cultural consequences this media would have on future generations. LIkewise, their expecations of future technologies and conveniences tell volumes about their perceptions of their own time and place in the world. FIlms of the past are artifacts of the people who made them and societies who enjoyed them. Look at what A Trip to the Moon (1905) says about the French mind- or Metropolis (1926) says about the German mind- or Things to Come (1936) says about the American mind. They each have distinct, yet similar anxieties and hopes for the future, and all of it is captured on film.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterctbonnell

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