Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Fifth Element, WALL-E & The Road: Future Trends

A. Read these two quotations from the past. Then discuss why these specialists in their fields were unable to foresee the future.

1. "Everything that can be invented has been invented." (Charles H. Duel, Commissioner of the US Patent Office, 1899)

2. There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." (Kenneth Olson, President of Digital Equipment, 1977)

B. Discuss these questions in pairs:

1. What important inventions have been made since 1899?

2. What reasons are there for people to have computers at home?

3. In your opinion, when might the following future events? How will they happen?

- Space tourism:

- The widespread use of non-petroleum-dependent technology:

- The elimination of cancer as a health threat:

- The widespread use of flying automobiles:

- The widespread use of robots as household chores equipment:

- The use of cryonics for immortality - people with fatal illnesses could have their bodies frozen before death to wait for its cure.

4. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Explain it.

C. Watch the first segment from the film The Fifth Element and discuss the questions that follow:


1. Describe the scene.

2. Is this an optimistic or pessimistic view of the future? Explain it.

3. How different is this future from the one you imagine it will be like?

4. How do you think the future will be similar to the one shown in the segment. Think about everything you have seen (living in a big city, cars, police, weapons, traffic, criminals, buildings, etc).

5. Would you like the future to be like the one depicted in the segment? Why (not)?

D. Now watch the second segment from the same movie, The Fifth Element, and discuss the questions that follow.


1. Describe the segment.

2. Do you think space tourism will ever be possible? Why (not)?

3. How similar and different is this kind of tourism from the way tourism is nowadays?

4. Would you like to join this group of tourist? Why (not)?

5. How do you think tourism will be in the future, 20 years from today, for example?

E. Watch the third segment from the wonderful movie WALL-E.


1. How does the director describe the future? Is it an optimistic or pessimistic view? Why?

2. Why is everyone so fat?

3. Most of the inventions nowadays are to make our lives more effortless. Do you agree with this statement? Why (not)? What are the possible consequences of such inventions.

4. What were some of the novelties promised by the movie? Will they ever happen? Which ones will and which ones won't be possible?

5. How do you compare the future shown in WALL-E with the one shown in The Fifth Element.

F. Discuss future trends in pairs. Write R if you believe the following rates or trends will rise, and F if you believe they will fall. Justify your answers:

1. ( ) crime rate

2. ( ) birthrate

3. ( ) literacy rates

4. ( ) fertility rate

5. ( ) divorce rate

6. ( ) population growth

7. ( ) life expectancy

8. ( ) marriage trends

9. ( ) unemployment rates

10. ( ) wars

G. Now watch the fourth segment from the movie The Road and discuss the questions that follow.


1. Describe the scene.

2. Is it an optimistic or pessimistic view of the future? Explain it.

3. Do you think this is a possible reality? Why (not)?

4. What could lead us to a future like this one?

5. What is mentioned in the segment concerning:

- what possibly happened

- daylight

- weather

- animals

- crops

- trees

- food

- shoes

- cannibalism

H. Class discussion:

1. How do you compare the future shown in The Fifth Element, WALL-E and The Road?

2. Which one of them is more feasible to happen? Why?

3. How do you think our future will actually be like?





  1. Hello, Fisrt of all, tnank you so much for this mine orreosurces that stuèdent reallyu apprecaite.
    I wanted to infom you of a bug, or technical problem preventing me from downloading "The Road" film segment (future trends).Is it protected or is there a problem?

    All teh best

  2. I don't know what the problem might be. I tried it here and it worked fine. Anyway, I uploaded it o my wiki and added the link to the end of the post. You should easily download from there. Let me know if you managed, please.