Does Modern Times (1936) count as a sci-fi movie?

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Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
It seems that every site says it's a comedy only, but it feels like a futuristic sci-fi movie when you watch it, mostly cause of the live video screen feed, in which Charlie Chaplin's character's boss, is able to watch him and talk to him live... through a videophone in 1936!

This one scene seems like it's set decades into the future, and wonder if that makes it a sci-fi movie or a movie with a futuristic setting technically.

What do you think?



Charlie Chaplin



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
If you don't find it funny, it has nothing to offer.
I think the heart he puts in it makes it a good movie regardless your reaction to film's gags.

Anyway, my question was a jab at @ironpony who often makes threads with similar title.



Science fiction is technically fiction that focus on the effects of science and technology on society. Modern times is technically a science fiction movie since it specifically criticizes the modern mass production society that the US was becoming at the mid 20th century.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh okay. Well the movie is very funny, but not sure if the point it was trying to make. Like if the industrial revolution and modern mass production is growing, then why are more people out of jobs in the movie? Wouldn't all that create more jobs?



The fear that technology is about to render employees superfluous has been around a long time, despite the fact that it's been around a long time.

Anyway, as to the thread's question, I tend to think a "sci-fi movie" has to not only contain science fiction, but have it be an integral part of the movie's vision somehow, so I'd say no, even while conceding I might be forced to say yes in a purely technical sense if I had to start drawing specific lines.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh okay. Another thing about the movie I found curious is that the whole movie plays like it's sped up in faster motion. Is it normally suppose to be this way? A lot of movies from that time will speed up certain shots, to give a certain effect in those specific moments, but the whole movie looks like this.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
This is just a theory, but I think a lot of the silent parts of the movie were shot at 16 frames per second to save on film and save on money. But the parts where characters talk, such as the videophone scenes where shot at 24 fps so they could capture the mouth movements correctly and sync it up with sound correctly. But because those scenes are shot at 24 fps, and playing back at 24 fps, this causes the 16 fps footage to all play one third faster, which is most of the movie. But that is just a guess.