In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Worldnovel (1932) there is a moment where two of the main characters, John the savage and Lenina go to the cinema, but it is not an ordinary cinema, it’s a sensory cinema.This novel is quite often compared to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four for its portrayal of a dystopia or negative utopia. Set in 2540 A.D. London, the Brave New World universe portrays humans as hedonistic, superficial and egoistic characters (as this is how the state has shaped and conditioned them) in a world in which individualism, love and empathy are disapproved of, and practices like consumption, massive use of technology and happiness inducing drug consumption are encouraged.
The film John and Lenina go to watch is a sensory one, called ‘feelie’, because of the fact that, in addition to seeing the film, they can feel it, taste it or smell it. So, if in the film a bear appeared, they could also feel his fur, and if food was shown, they could smell it or taste it.
Do you think this could be possible in the future? Aldous Huxley found the jump between silent and talkie film an inspiration for this sensory cinema, and technological advances allowed us to see films in 3D. So, do you think that it could be likely to create a sensory cinema? If so, what films would you like to see?
Do you remember the ‘Choose your own adventure’ books? Surely most of you have been hooked on them trying to decide if choosing the left hand door would take you out of the pyramid or to the monstrous mummy.
Tim Curry starring Clue (1985) was one of the pioneering interactive films, as it portrayed three different alternative endings; despite that, you could not really choose them, as each cinema theatre chose one randomly. You have other films that show you different versions of the same story, such as Blind Chance (1987) or Run, Lola, Run (1998), but they don’t offer the possibility to choose which one to see.
However, there has been a tendency lately to make ‘choose your own adventure’ films, like Bob Doucette (director), William H. Macy and Frankie Muniz (voices) The Snowman (2007) or Bob Gale’s Mr. Payback (1995) but unfortunately they are not widespread yet.
Do you think it is a good idea to be able to interact with a film? Would you like to have more interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ films and what kind of films (horror, adventure, romance…) would you like to watch? How do you think they could be shown on cinemas?