6 pm – reception
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – lecture

Films and television shows set in the future often look campy twenty years or more after they were created. Visions of the future tend to tell us more about the time period they were made than about the time period they seek to depict. In this talk, Howard Besser will examine how 20th-century films and television have depicted computers and related information environments. In a presentation liberally illustrated with clips, he will show how these visions of the future are sometimes wildly inaccurate, sometimes quite prescient, and often very funny. He will also show how these depictions can provide insights into the social and cultural preoccupations of the period when they were made.

Howard Besser is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University and was founding director of NYU’s Moving Image Archiving & Preservation MA Degree. Professor Besser has for more than thirty years been involved with the application of cutting-edge technologies to retrieval, preservation, and examination of works of art.