HG Wells? But surely he was a 19th century writer? What on earth could be relevant to today in his prognostications? Well, he was incredibly prolific and popular in his day and his books continue to inspire film-makers today. The War of the Worlds was probably his most famous piece of fiction but The Time Machine rivals it for popularity and the themes of his books are both innovative and timeless.
I caught a bit of the Spielberg 2005 remake of The War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise the other night. A typical Spielberg take with Tom Cruise playing the flawed everyman character that differed from his standard roles in that he was annoying on purpose. The Time Machine movie starred Rod Taylor and was more like Around the World in Eighty Days in approach.
The ‘50s version of The War of the Worlds was probably closer to the original book in concept but so inept in the effects department as to be verging on campy.
But what I particularly liked about the 2005 version was the realisation of the Martian ‘machines’ that I presume (only because I’ve forgotten) owe something to the original text or indeed the Classic Comic evocation. Nothing like them has stomped through the sci-fi genre before or since - they make all the Star Wars’ franchise war machines pale into feeble insignificance, to my mind at least.
Like all predictors of the future Wells was unable to anticipate the uptake of inventions like the mobile phone but he was convinced that rail held the key to the growth of modern super-cities. Quite rightly too – nothing has superseded the rail system as the basis for building an efficient metropolis, although it has to be said that Australia’s lagging behind the rest of the civilised world in this area.
No more so than in Victoria where it seems political parties of all persuasions have cosied up to the monopoly that controls Melbourne Airport’s parking debacle. The kick-backs must be prodigious as every polly questioned on the problem gushes out multiple arguments against changing the status quo in Turnbull-like incoherence.
What a disgrace! I feel embarrassed every time I arrive back in Melbourne and see the hapless first-time visitors vainly trying to make sense of Tullamarine’s every-man-for-himself transport ‘arrangements’.
As I seem to remember my bro’ mentioning in the past, the authorities have happily offered to put a rail link to Avalon, but who catches a plane there and what is Avalon all about anyway?
No, I’m almost tempted to throw my hat in the ring to front a single issue party (the Fuck You! party) and make the airport car park into something useful, mainly a thing of the past. To the barricades fellow Melburnite Miserables – we shall make them regret condemning us to $180.00 plus fares in smelly taxi cabs or standing in an overcrowded shuttle bus while trying to hold on to our luggage or having friends arrive to pick us up and drive endlessly around the airport when we’re delayed of getting charged a fortune to spend a few minutes in the short-term parking.
And why not a Very Fast Train (not even particularly aspirational compared to a Bullet Train) to go interstate while we’re at it? I can feel knives being sharpened as I think of the possibilities. Hold on, there’s somebody at the door..