Friday, 18 July 2008

Fifth Element - forecast the future?

I managed to catch Luc Besson's 'Fifth Element' the other evening on Film 4. It is now over ten years since it was first released and probably about the tenth time I have seen the film. For people who have not seen the film a quick description of the plot is: 'In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr Zorg at bay'. The taxi driver is Bruce Willis and the 'weapon' is model Milla Jovovich. Every time I watch this film I realise how much i enjoy watching it. The sets are fresh even after ten years and the clothes (designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier) add to what I almost see as a melting pot of future directions.

What I mean by this is that for some the future is about slick lines functionality and an almost 'un-human' sanitization of the world, we can see this with the latest apple creation such as the iPhone and iPod touch, while currently these pieces are design icons they have an almost clinical beauty to them. The interesting aspect of Fifth Element however is the eclectic nature of the world that 'Korben Dallas' (Bruce Willis) inhabits. The flying taxis that still have visual indicators of current taxis – when i am sure it could be believed this would no longer be necessary, the vices of the day such as the enlarged filter cigarettes all showing and commenting on how no matter how bad things maybe for you, you may still chose to 'take part'. 

The idea of retro and eclectic is really current today with the last few years harking back to the 80's through this years fashions and music styles. Also there is the idea of mix and match in clothing and interior design etc. So I do feel that while those cutting edge technological pieces will always be with us I wonder when we get to a certain point will we yearn for familiarity?

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