FUTURO - A NEW STANCE FOR TOMORROW
FUTURO - A NEW STANCE FOR TOMORROW is a journey back in time to our recent futuristic past. It's a documentary about the rise and fall of the plastic Futuro house, the story of a "Space Age" utopia that almost came true.
"The perfect design of the spaceships reflects the housing of the future. The plastic age is about to begin."(Avotakka Magazine 5/1968)
"After the preliminary tests it will probably be possible to use plastic even for apartment buildings. But plastic houses were primarily designed for holiday use, and hundreds of millions will have more and more leisure time in the 1980s."(Professor Rudolph Doemach at the Lüdenscheide Plastic House Fair in 1971)
"These colourful capsules might be the housing industry's answer to condensed milk - condensed living."(Holiday Magazine May-June 1970)
Mika Taanila's new film FUTURO - A NEW STANCE FOR TOMORROW turns the history of this forgotten milestone in Finnish design into a story full of international colour and drama. It traces the development of Suuronen's "purely mathematical idea" into a multipurpose commodity which is eventually destroyed by time. Director Mika Taanila and Marko Home did extensive research to trace Futuro's story step by step. Unique amateur film and other archive footage highlight the enthusiasm and ardour that followed Futuro around the world.
All the key characters from Futuro's past who are still alive have been interviewed, from architect Suuronen to German conceptual artist Charles Wilp, and they answer such questions as:
- What is the link between Andy Warhol, Christo, the Royal family of Kuwait and Futuro's history?
- Why did Playboy magazine give Futuro an impressive launch in its September issue in 1970?
- What plans did Sputnik, the official youth travel agency in the Soviet Union, have in mind for Futuro?
- Where was the world's first Futuro "spacebank"?
- When did Santa Claus bring Futuro to Estonia?
The soundtrack of the multilingual film features futuristic production music and Moog music from the late 1960s as well as electronic film music by the Finnish experimental group Ektroverde. Ektroverde's CD MUSIC FROM THE FILM: FUTURO - A NEW STANCE FOR TOMORROW was released at the end of November 1998.
Director Mika Taanila's (b. 1965) previous documentary THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC - A FILM ABOUT MUZAK won a special award in the national competition at the Tampere Film Festival and the First Prize at the Avanca Film Festival in Portugal in 1997. The film is still featured at international film festivals.
The Futuro house, designed by architect Matti Suuronen, was first introduced in 1968. It is both a reflection of the time and a utopian vision of "a new stance for tomorrow." Its Flying Saucer-like elliptic shape reflects the late-60s optimism about the forthcoming conquest of Space. It was believed that mankind was about to enter a New Era in which technology would solve all imaginable problems.
The demand for holiday homes was high because people had more leisure time. Futuro was initially designed as a ski cabin that would be quick to heat and easy to erect. Its working title was "after-ski cabin". Durable, easy-care plastic was chosen as the material because its price was still competitive back then. Plastic was seen as a material of infinite potential that would eventually replace even concrete. It was believed that serial production would lower Futuro's price and make it affordable for just about anyone.
The film's third key theme is mobility. It was forecast that people would focus increasingly on away-from-home activities, reducing the importance of the home as a permanent base. Tomorrow's people would control their environment and action by a mobile form of living, a modern nomadism of sorts. Futuro crystallises the idea of a holiday home that is easy to transport from one location to another. In the United States, it was believed that once the Vietnam War was over there would be plenty of helicopters available for this.
The 1973 oil crisis shattered the optimistic illusions about continuous economic growth and the infallibility of technology. The price of plastic climbed drastically, and the production of Futuro became unprofitable. Although the innovative Futuro attracted plenty of attention around the world, and production and sales licences were sold to 24 different countries, it never fulfilled the expectations of its commercial potential.
FUTURO - A NEW STANCE FOR TOMORROW
1998, 29 min., 35 mm
Director: Mika Taanila
Written by: Mika Taanila, Marko Home
Photography: Jussi Eerola
Sound Design: Olli Huhtanen
Music: Ektroverde, Dick Hyman, 101 Strings, etc.
Producer: Lasse Saarinen / Kinotar Oy
Production Support: The Finnish Film Foundation / Petri Jokiranta; in co-operation with the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)/TV-1/Eila Werning
For additional information, screening copies, screening dates & venues and still photos, please contact:
Ulla Simonen / Kinotar Oy: tel +358-(0)9-1351864, fax +358-(0)9-1357864, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or director Taanila: email@example.com