IBM at the Fair

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 26, 2015

There’s some great candid/hidden camera material collected at the start of this film. People are just interesting to look at, and they present beautifully when photographed. The fast motion is really interesting. Through its use the individuals from the beginning turn into abstractions, part of a general pattern of movement and stasis and movement again. Not only are these people accelerated, but the cutting is really precipitous too. What is it like, or similar to? Not Eisenstein. Gance! That said, it figures that in a minute, when we’re taken into the IBM film presentation, the Eames are using a whopping ten screens!

Exhibition and film alike constitute corporate plugs, but I’m pretty sure it’s all operating benevolently. This is like Standard Oil funding Robert Flaherty’s Louisiana Story in 1948, or maybe the Empire Marketing Board/General Post Office translated into the US’s market traditions. You can see the Utopian nature of their (IBM, the Eames) technological enthusiasm. This is progress! At least it can be. That doesn’t completely invalidate the whining of the world’s Occupiers, whatever their vintage or geographical orgins. But they probably shouldn’t whine so much. Some of these good impulses translate into a lot of good.