January 17, 2011

FUTURAMA II

As Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were working with designers like Mike Trim to create the futuristic worlds of Fireball XL5 (1962-1963) and Stingray (1964-1965), designers at major corporations like GM were also trying to envision a world born of the space age. Part of the 1964/65 World's Fair exhibit included Futurama II, which featured these Gerry Anderson-like, FAB architectural models. Shades of Barbarella, Logan's Run, Danger Diabolik, and CQ. That undersea hotel looks like a vacation getaway for James Bond villains. Maybe a baddie convention? I should write that. Thanks to the blog Jhalal Drut for putting these images on my radar.

11 comments:

  1. WOW, these images bring back 40-year old memories!

    My high school library had a book which contained these images. I forget what it was called (maybe "City of the Future"?), but I probably made it the most logged out item in the whole library.

    I remember a classmate in Engineering Science using the bottom image as a source for designing an underwater home for his year-long assignment.

    Memories, memories, memories!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The shape of the underwater pod reminds me of some of the 1960's fireplaces that were often suspended over a gravel pit. They were a must feature of any space-age bachelor pad!

    J Kraus

    ReplyDelete
  3. so great that you checked out a book from the library with these images. must have been about the world's fair exhibits. the underwater home idea reminds me of the film version of The Spy Who Loved Me. btw, what was your year-long project?

    i see that visual connection to those bachelor pad fireplaces. dynamic triangles and futuristic, smooth curves.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, The Spy Who Loved Me. You are of course referring to the lair of shipping tycoon and archvillain Karl Stromberg. Karl is responsible for one of my favorite Bond film quotes:

    "...I am somewhat of a recluse; I wish to conduct my life on my own terms, and in surroundings with which I can identify. That is a privilege of wealth..."

    J Kraus

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's a great quote! And maybe the 'privilege' of many people's dreams, despite the wealth aspect. If we just saw the first statements, it could apply the classic Western figure. Terms and surroundings also makes me think of the 'personal utopia' of modern architecture, or any person trying to live authentically.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Since I am “a bit of a recluse” and have spent an inordinate amount of my life collecting carefully considered “stuff,” the quote hit home!

    Speaking of Space Age environments, have you run across The Playboy Townhouse?

    Before watching the animated videos, I recommend going to the original Playboy article first; it is indentified as being from 1961, but I believe it may actually have been from the May 1962 issue. The flowery descriptive prose is classic ‘60’s Playboy.

    http://www.ivy-style.com/come-fly-with-me-playboys-bachelor-pad-animated-tour.html

    J Kraus

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the link. I had looked at scans of the original article a couple of years ago, but it's great to re-visit. Amazing images. Shades of Our Man Flint? I'm hoping that Playboy is working on a 1960s version of that complete-issues project. Did any Spy Vibers get the 1950s set? It's pretty fantastic, easy to read on-screen- and searchable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Did you notice in video #3 that the clip that was playing on the master bedroom TV of Hef interviewing Sharon Tate was from the Playboy After Dark DVD Set One?

    I haven't got the Digital Archive, but I had heard somewhere that the '60's version was not going to be happening. I do have a modest collection of "hard-copy" Playboys from the 1960’s – I try to seek out the December issues because they always had the most advertising. Reading the period advertising is akin to archeology with ads for long-gone items like pipes, hats and reel-to-reel tape recorders!

    J Kraus

    ReplyDelete
  9. I looked more closely at the animated walk-throughs of that famous pad design from Playboy. Although I'm a fan macabre mystery (particularly if combined with humor: Hitchcock, Sala, Addams), I ultimately thought it was disturbing to juxtapose the Sharon Tate interview from Playboy After Dark with hints of murder in the animations- not to mention the use of the Psycho score. I guess they were going for something that hinted of narrative, but it's too much for me given her circumstances.

    That link aside, however, I do love seeing Sharon and Roman chat with Hef about the slow acceptance of nudity (and bikinis) in America. We'll have to do a Playboy After Dark party soon on Spy Vibe :) Who are your favorite guests?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would be more than happy to “attend” a Playboy After Dark soiree, but only if I am assured that I can wear my velvet smoking jacket and matching monogrammed slippers, and fire up my “Pipe that Hef Smokes.”

    I have only seen Volume One (which I bought upon release) - I must check out Volume Two from Netflix. I would have to say my favorite guest from the first set has to be Sammy Davis in his 1959 appearance.

    I have to say, before watching this DVD, I was never much impressed with Sammy, only knowing him from a much later period. Seeing him perform in his prime was a revelation. Singing, dancing, joking, I realize now what a consummate and extremely talented entertainer he was. After seeing his segment for the first time, I was so mesmerized that I backed up immediately and watched it again!

    Its too bad Hef never produced the show in the early-to-mid 1960’s (when I believe Western Civilization peaked in many ways.) As the disk moves from 1959 to 1968, you can really see the degradation in sartorial standards of the late ‘60’s as the guests devolve from black tie and suits to tee shirts, medallions and bare feet!

    J Kraus

    ReplyDelete
  11. I liked that Sammy Davis segment, as well. So much energy. Was that the one where he does some impressions at one point? One of my faves from that era of the show is Ella Fitzgerald. So cool to see her listening to a playback from, i think, one the early Playboy Jazz Fest live recordings.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...