… Imagined futures tend to look quaint quite quickly — most old sci-fi movies and TV shows are now watched cultishly, ironically or as exercises in style. Some, however — think of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers — endure because they were so urgently engaged with their own present: in that case, anti-communist paranoia. We have moved from a phase in which science and technology were exciting but “out there” to one in which they are accelerating and “in here” — in our lives and, increasingly, in our minds.
I saw The Invasion of the Body Snatchers with my mother when it came out. I was 14. Neither my mother nor I responded to any subtext. We just saw it as a scary movie about creepy aliens from outer space. But then, we probably didn't experience the '50s in America as paranoid and conformist. I know I never did. But what did I know? I was just a kid, not an intellectual.