"Each person who tries to see beyond his own time must face questions to which there cannot yet be proven answers."—from The Illustrated Man
For the fourth of our Movie Review podcasts here at TMR we welcome back our good friends Frank Johnson (of the Ancient Aliens Debunked blog) and Mark Campbell (of Bowler or Fez Film Reviews) for a roundtable discussion on the 1969 classic movie The Illustrated Man, starring Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom, based on Ray Bradbury's sci-fi short story collection of the same name.
Taking just three of Bradbury's stories—"The Veldt", "The Long Rain" and "The Last Night of the World"—the film ties them together, as does the book, with the framing device of "The Illustrated Man", a vagrant ex-circus-freak-show-performer with a heavily tattooed body, whose "body illustrations"—created by an allegedly time-travelling woman—seem to possess a supernatural power to transfix anyone who stares at the images and transport them into "the future".
But is this really about "the future", or is it something more like "possible worlds"? Are we looking at science fiction here, or is it closer to fanstasy? Indeed, does the film even know what it's doing?
Join us as we ponder these questions and more, and compare the film with the original short stories—thanks to our resident Ray Bradbury enthusiast, Mark Campbell—in an entertaining and thought-provoking three-way discussion.
[Podcast theme music: Moment of Green by Antony Raijekov (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).]
(Download Podcast - HQ 128 kbps)
HQ (128 kbps)
[Ray Bradbury, Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom, Robert Drivas, Jack Smight, Howard B. Kreitsek, Jerry Goldsmith, Roger Ebert, Technocracy, witchcraft, utopianism, human condition, original sin]