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Speaking of malpractice, let’s talk about handwaving

These guys explain handwaving better than I do. But there is a lot of it in future tech.

And in some cases, they don’t. Case in point, The Fifth Element – cigarettes are still there, they still cause cancer, but they have reversed the size of the filter and the tobacco part of the cigarette. They even portray the culture as down on smoking (FOUR A DAY. TO QUIT IS MY GOAL.) as well as allowing the quaintness of lucifer sticks to remain (see PLOT DEVICE).

Other than that, they don’t really touch drugs. One junkie visits the hero early on and gets shut down, and other than the implication that you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant (excepting Alice) Fhloston’s Paradise.

On the one hand, handwaving is super annoying – on the other hand, it’s another way to get the story moving. If you get too far away from your intended audience’s perception of reality and give them no context to hang things on, you’ve pretty much failed at your movie or tv show or book. I wonder if the universities of tomorrow will have degrees in comparative modern literature, explaining these “period pieces” to the future generations much as Willy the Shake and others are taught now.

Movies in this post: The Fifth Element

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