A Glimpse Of London's Future, From 1924

M@
By M@ Last edited 6 months ago

Last Updated 04 January 2024

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, in conversation with an uninterested stranger. The inventor has created a box that can gaze into the future. It offers up visions of London as it might one day be. Trains fly over Tower Bridge, while an airship launches from Westminster.

Although none of these visions — 100 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.