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Hold on to your hoverboard: 'Back to the Future' is now
By Fanny ANDRE
Washington (AFP) Oct 21, 2015

Welcome to the future.

October 21, 2015 is the date "Back to the Future" professor Doc Brown and Marty McFly journey to in their time-traveling DeLorean in the second installment of the much-loved movie trilogy.

The world as imagined by director Robert Zemeckis -- with hoverboards, self-lacing sneakers and flying vehicles -- seemed a long shot when "Back to the Future Part II" came out in December 1989.

Fans of the series are marking Wednesday's landmark date by celebrating some of the predictions that came true in the futuristic saga -- and some that didn't.

The films follow the time-travelling adventures of young Marty, a teenager living in small-town America in the 1980s played by Michael J. Fox. He sets out in a DeLorean car converted to voyage the space-time continuum by his eccentric inventor friend Doc Brown.

"I was a teenager when the film was released. I remember thinking it will be fun to watch it later when I have a family," said Brad Russell, founder and president of the Washington West Film Festival, which is organizing a retrospective on the series in the suburbs of the US capital.

"We watched it this year with my family. It was rewarding."

- Welcome to Hill Valley -

Russell is organizing a marathon screening of the three films, which came out in 1985, 1989 and 1990. Many other movie theaters are doing likewise.

He even managed to get the town of Reston, Virginia outside Washington to change its name for the duration of the festival.

A billboard that reads "Welcome to Hill Valley" -- the fictitious town where the film takes place -- is to greet hundreds of collectors of DeLorean cars expected for a parade on Sunday.

A red carpet will be unfurled for Christopher Lloyd, who plays Doc Brown, and Bob Gale, who wrote the script for the trilogy.

A documentary by Jason Aron entitled "Back in Time" also debuts Wednesday in the United States, in which the film's stars talk about its impact on popular culture.

In California, where the movies were filmed, fans dressed up as Marty will gather outside a fast food restaurant where the young hero grabs onto a pick-up to speed his skateboard ride to school.

And on Saturday, "Back to the Future" buffs in Hollywood will be able to party at the "Enchantment Under the Sea", the high school dance where Marty's parents fall in love in 1955 in the first film of the series.

Delighted fans in Santiago, Chile, watched as one of the DeLoreans used in the films was turned on and spread its wings at the city's Museum of Fashion, which also displayed a leather jacket and white sneakers that Fox's character wore in the movie.

"The whole world is celebrating this day," said Felipe Gaeta, a Chilean fan who confessed to "mixed feelings" that tomorrow the future will belong to the past.

Auto manufacturer Toyota, a favorite of the hero of the film, has jumped into the fray, too.

The website www.toyota.com/outatime features a discussion between Lloyd and Fox on the inventions imagined in the film and which became reality -- from faxes to videoconferences.

Even the White House is jumping into the anniversary, organizing online debates with specialists on the question, "What does 2045 look like?"

- Marketing gold -

"Predictions is a fun conversation we are having," Russell said.

Some are still being worked on, such as increasingly sophisticated prototypes of the famed hoverboard and dog-walking drones, which also feature in the film.

One joke that has long gone unnoticed outside the US resonates big-time for Americans: the success of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

In the second installment of the series, the team known affectionately as the "lovable losers" wins the 2015 World Series.

And now to the surprise of many, the team is in this year's playoffs, one step away from the Series -- which they last won way back in 1908.

Unfortunately, they now find themselves down 3-0 to the New York Mets in the best-of-seven National League championship series.

Several companies are cashing in on the "Back to the Future" anniversary.

Nike is releasing a version of the self-lacing Nike Mag shoes that Marty wore in the movie, and Pepsi will sell limited-edition "Pepsi Perfect" -- Marty's soda of choice in the blockbuster series.

"We are excited to be part of this moment and to bring fans something only Pepsi could deliver -- and there's no need to wait -- the future is now," said Lou Arbetter, PepsiCo senior director of marketing.

The bottled drink, complete with collectible case, will sell at $20.15. Just 6,500 Pepsi Perfect bottles were available, and only online.






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Previous Report
Brands eye big bucks with 'Back to the Future' nostalgia
Washington (AFP) Oct 20, 2015
The dog-walking drones and flying cars of Marty McFly's fictional 21st century are still the stuff of sci-fi in real-life 2015 - but savvy brands from Pepsi to Toyota have rolled out gadgets and gimmicks tapping into "Back to the Future" nostalgia. Fans of the film on Wednesday will mark "Back to the Future" Day - characters Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and McFly (Michael J. Fox) blasted ... read more

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