A Glimpse Of London’s Future, From 1924

The Fugitive Futurist is a short, silent film made by Gaston Quiribet in 1924. The plot, such as it is, involves a mad inventor, commending a box that can glimpse the future to an uninterested stranger. Trains fly over Tower Bridge, while an airship launches from Westminster.

Although none of these visions — almost 90 years old — have yet come to pass, the footage of the tide lapping at the steps of the National Gallery is eerily prescient of more recent disaster scenarios caused by global warming. It also presaged the Thames flood of 1928, which killed 14 people upriver in Millbank and caused major damage to other parts of the capital.

The film has been online for a while, but it’s interesting enough to warrant a reshowing, for those who’ve yet to see it. Donated from the BFI, it forms part of the London Screen Archive, a fascinating and growing collection of short films about the capital.

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  • http://twitter.com/PerfumedDandy The Perfumed Dandy

    I say!!

    What a jolly flick.

    And it is so far away from the truth – no blimps above Big Ben, but rotablades whir above Battersea Power Station and the gondolas across the Royal Docks are sky trains of a sort.

    The best parts of all though are those incredible fade outs between images – as though the film were being eaten by acid. Quite chilling.

    Excellent post!

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy