Amazon headman Jeff Bezos declared today that his shopping website could be able to deliver packages five pounds and under by drone in the near future. Addressing relevant FAA rules that would not be in place prior to 2015, the company’s website says it would be “ready at that time” to deliver such packages, whose size, according to Bezos, comprise “86%” of its online sales. He called the service “Prime Air” and delivery times could be under 30 minutes. A number of immediate scenarios came to mind, and films/clips to elucidate them.
First, we have Duran Duran’s video of their theme from View To A Kill (1985) for an idea of what might have happened if this plan had been put into place about thirty years ago. A sub-consumer level video camera is wanly pursuing Simon Le Bon — wearing a beret, of course — around the Eiffel Tower on his adventure vacation. When delivery doesn’t go as efficiently as planned, drummer Roger Taylor attempts a rocket array Plan B. Meanwhile, another scene shows the pitfalls of delivery above the Arctic Circle.
Bezos’ idea gets attention but is not nearly revolutionary, as the Alexander Korda-produced, H.G, Wells written film Things To Come (1936) easily attests. Raymond Massey plays Cabal, leader of the ‘Wings Over the World’ civilization (based in Basra, Iraq) with all the prophetic implications you want to read into that) which triumphs over an Earth ravaged by war, pestilence (and ‘Boss’ Ralph Richardson) through airborne technology and engineering, before facing its own Luddite backlash. This film is far ahead of time for its visuals as well as its ideas, with effects sequences supervised by Hungarian photographer and abstract artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.
Finally, we have the comic nightmare/fairytale end-result of The Stork Market animated short from 1949, a production of Paramount’s Famous Studios showing just what whack-ness could actually occur in reality at some point if the world keeps plowing forward with nothing beyond seat-of-the pants oversight. Its ‘Pretty Baby’ sing-along is just right — I could see Bezos emerging out of his own hatched idea just like Edward G.…but chicks (and the media) dig that, don’t they?
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