Almost everyday, Silicon Valley launches companies that strive to change the world with new technologies. Autonomous cars, for instance, similar to those featured in the 2004 movie I, Robot, are currently in the testing phase. Martin Cooper, who invented the first cell phone, has stated that the handheld communicators used by the members of the Enterprise on Star Trek inspired his invention. Another example of film and television’s influence on real-world technology is with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the film, Dr. Heywood Floyd, while en route to a space station, uses videoconferencing to wish happy birthday to his daughter. History is replete with such instances where the visionary creations in cinema inspired real-life inventions whose life-changing capacity in turn cements the legacies of these films.
Author: Jack Sinclair
A protagonist’s introduction on screen often plays an essential role in not only the character’s journey, but in cementing a film’s legacy. Iconic cinematic introductions range from Indiana Jones retrieving the golden idol (and being chased by the rolling boulder) to Vito Corleone taking meetings on the day of his daughter’s wedding. Audience members forever remember these characters, often through the way they are introduced to us on screen. Gilda exemplifies this statement in 1946’s eponymous film noir. Hayworth’s famous introduction is not only iconic to the film’s legacy, but also to the classic character trope of the femme fatale.
Rango – 2011 – dir. Gore Verbinski
In preparation to play an exaggerated, though realistic, portrayal of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp spent several months living in Thompson’s basement looking through the writings and mementos from the drug filled adventure that became the book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas“. Depp was also studying his mannerisms, he wanted to bring the whole aura of Thompson, with the guns, the drugs, and more, to life. When the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas came out, Depp received a lot of positive reviews for the way that he accurately portrayed the larger than life persona of Thompson. In the years since Fear and Loathing, Depp has found various ways to pay tribute to the man that let him into his home. When Thompson died in 2005, Depp paid for the outlandish funeral party. He also narrated the Alex Gibney 2008 documentary, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Depp has even stated that Thompson was part of his influence for the character of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. In 2011, Depp ventured into the animated Wild West in the form of a chameleon, in the popular film Rango. Though the character is animated, as well as a reptile, one can see that Depp intended the unnamed chameleon to be a tribute to the author.
Midnight in Paris – 2011 – dir. Woody Allen
Nostalgia comes from a combination of two Greek words: “nóstos” meaning homecoming and “álgos” meaning pain or ache. Woody Allen must have felt this familiar ache while writing and directing Midnight in Paris, as the film’s lingering shots of the beautiful City of Lights suggest he may too dream of coming home to Paris.