Bifocal 7: Back to the Future and Modernist Space

“Empty space becomes both fertile and intimidating in modernist special effects, like an extension of Wagner’s blackened gulf between audience and the lit stage at Bayreuth. The blank and unobstructed suggest absence as presence. This exposure was an invitation to add more special effects. After World War II, these modernist spaces were filled very quickly. They were scripted to meet the consumer side of entertainment that continued to grow. Finally they became very busy scripts indeed, particularly after 1955.”

Excerpt from From the Vatican to Vegas: A History of Special Effects by Norman Klein, New York: The New Press, 2004. Print.

Video: Back to the Future Part II (Robert Zemeckis, 1989).