Time plays with our perspective because we tend to pigeonhole ourselves within a single frame of reference. Take movies, for example. When I was a boy, let’s say in 1959 for the sake of a specific example, any film older than 32 years seemed ancient. They were primitive and from the distant past. They were filled with corny overacting, didn’t have any color, and didn’t even have sound! In contrast, Body Double is now 37 years old and doesn’t really seem that dated. 1984 doesn’t even seem that long ago from the perspective of cinema.
But that’s just within the movie realm, in which very little seems to change except for the standards of political correctness and the special effects. Other parts of modern civilization, however, have changed drastically.
This movie was being planned in 1983, a year that was in many ways the very dawn of the modern world.The first PC with a hard drive was introduced in 1983. Also in 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. The other essential technological development of 1983 occurred when ARPANET and the Defense Data Network officially changed to the TCP/IP standard, marking the birth of the Internet. Powerful personal computers, cellular phones and the internet are just about the basis of our lives today, yet they did not exist for the people who were writing and planning Body Double.
In fact, non-academic use of the Web was really still about a decade in the future. It was not until 1993 that the Mosaic browser made the web accessible to non-technical users. About two years after that, Uncle Scoopy’s Fun House, perhaps the greatest achievement of mankind to date, was born.