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How was the future world in the primitive cinema?

This project, which structure is unusual, begins with the analysis of several movies made from 1907 to 1936, in order to describe the imaginary futurist detected in primitive universal cinema, and extract to the light the mechanisms used to construct them.

The present project of investigation begins in the literary Utopian path that treats about the future societies projected since Plato up to H. G. Wells, with the object to explore in which terms the universal cinema (in France, Germany, Great Britain, the USA of America and USSR) has adapted its visions. But this research on archetypes of universal myths runs in parallel with another study of local archaeology that has its origin in autochthonous sources (documents of files, oral report...) on the arrival of the cinema to the Catalan population of The Prat de Llobregat (where the airport is located, close to the city of Barcelona, wherefrom the authoress comes). This research covers the period 1907-1936, the same one that occupies the principal corpus of investigation based on the international studied movies. At the same time, the mentioned corpus is related to the principal elements of the philosophy of the human creation (art, science and society) out of the fiction, dedicating a special attention to the relations that are established between the movie iconographies and the area of the design. The results of the research are finally compared with the treatment given in a singular futurist movie of animation (Peraustrinia 2004) produced and realized by citizens of The Prat de Llobregat in 1990. The objective of this thesis consists of extracting to the light the characteristics and components (so much objects as concepts) of the imaginary futurist detected in the primitive universal cinema, which discovers that archetype is generated as model, being continued and being consolidated in the classic cinema. This model is associated with the particular vision of the imaginary future created from the local model, being revealed that the "global world" universal that the cinematography has helped to generate has remained collectivized, tends to be perpetuated in the time, being very difficult to change its components, for what the model universal archetype exercises always a superior influence on the human being when we are imagining a future world, that the exercised one from the circumstances and the history of "singular world " in which we live and  we belong. On the other hand, along this research it is discovered that the elements that possess more character of anticipation, are not, precisely, those who have been imagined to recreate in the cinema a future world, nevertheless those that have been added by chance with another purpose (to complement the model as, for example, to provoke humour...), not for describing the future model; curiously these types of elements are those who have more possibilities of appearing outside of fiction in the future, belonging to our real world.

We might say that chance (coincidence) which comes from the unconscious impulse has more power of anticipatory vision than that thing which consciously has been represented when we imagine the world that comes. So we connect with, squarely, the theories of Karl Jung, who already was affirming that the unconscious one was acting as if it was provided with own intelligence. But does this want to say that our destiny is written in our unconscious one? Rather we can say that the human being prosecutes his own destiny, which is not other different that those which we project as the ideal thing or as utopian purpose, and as such, our desires emerge of the unconscious one, they appear in the imaginary representation in the same order than they might appear in our dreams; for what is possible that they are later found, already outside of the fiction, the impulses of the unconscious one (which appeared in the fiction as desires) with our destiny. What seems to remain clear enough, and coinciding also with Jung, it is that along this investigation there is demonstrated that we possess the unconscious common one shaped by archetypes. All this is explained in one document with the final conclusions (it’s explained too which are the future advice obtained from the primitive and classic cinema, how is this future imaginary…) titled "Future orientations since the objective of the primitive and classic cinematography. Description of the archetype model".

But we should wonder what the reason is, of what way we are connected in order that our thoughts, finds, inventions, represented forms ..., conform of so similar form. At the end of this thesis a theory is offered as hypothesis that might, giving to Jung's theories one step more, to give a response that might explain the existence of our unconscious common. The mentioned theory is developed under the title: "Unconscious Collective and Transfer of the Ideas: In the limit of the external memory". This theory principally is based on the idea that if we invent since the imitation and the copy of the nature (what already was detected as common denominator since the Utopian perspective), it is possible that also everything what we invent exists before in the nature. Therefore, if the human being has been capable of inventing a global and accessible net of contents and information to all the individuals as is Internet, it would not be logical to think that it already exists in the nature and we still do not know it…

And finally, this thesis, that according to his director, Roman Gubern, it is sustained in a " atypical structure though original ", also includes an artistic experience, as a creative essay, titled "Transfer", in which the unconscious common is represented by a woman of fiction that is called Numen. She lives in a world of black, white and grey tonalities since where she controls humans that live on the Earth, she copies us our identity and she registers all of our materials. She transfers us ideas to the civilization by what we can progress. This is a Utopia in the art inspired by "Una Utopía Moderna" of H.G.Wells. But of this artistic exhibition, probably the most original concept is the transfer in which it is associated the geometric formula of the golden section that calculates the proportional average (" the perfect proportion "between the parts), with the concept of "idea" in relation to the art and the science, obtaining the following reflection: "The idea is to the science in the same way that the art is to the idea" (what is the same that to say: the idea is equal to the square root of art multiplied by science). Any creative process needs from the creative thought, so the idea arises from the balance between both. Roman Gubern in the book of the visitor wrote: "the feedback of idea-art-science is a brilliant idea".

Rosa Delgado Leyva
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Programa de Noves Tecnologies.


"THE IMAGINARY OF THE FUTURE WORLD IN THE PRIMITIVE AND CLASSIC CINEMA: From the universal thing to the singular case: El Prat de Llobregat" Thesys presented by Rosa Delgado Leiva and directed by Román Gubern Garriga, on february 11th, 2008.

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