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With about a hundred times less budget, but with equal amount of creative and purposeful endeavour, this movie sets the new bar an exact decade after Linklater's "Waking Life (2001)" proved that movies can be a source of worthwhile, profound intellectual dialogue.
Different from its predecessor in many ways, "The Future is Now! (2011)" is not a dream, is not a cartoon and follows a main character, named "Man of Today" (played by Paul Ahmarani), who has much more repartee then the boy stuck in a dream in Waking Life. This leads to slightly more balanced dialogue and debate. It fits well in the quest of the "Woman of Tomorrow" to show this dejected character life's greatest achievements and hopes in attempt to turn his pompous pessimism into a open-minded optimism. A genuine endeavour to change a fellow human's life for the better. In that contrived way and with much less production value, it fails to reach the dreamy etheral quality of Waking Life, yet it takes a life of its own and is able to delve in its charming quirkiness.
In that quest, he will meet a poet, an architect, anarchists, artists, philosophers (dead & alive), scientists, etc. and travel in many different places. The basis of the encounters are discussions and reflections that build on each other, yet that are also distinct, delectable and debatable. There are told with somewhat of a fairy-tale preamble, but their validity and content are made of things that may be discussed for decades more. Moral responsibility, the value of art and science in society, socialism, social responsibility, beauty, love, religion, taxes and death.
A particular notion that sticks in my mind is an artist saying that in contemporary art you have to love BEFORE you see beauty. Like kissing a frog that will turn into a Prince. The principal is odd, but the dialogue brings the point home. Kudos, to all involved in this near-perfect production.
So love before and go appreciate this mind-stimulating beauty filled with lucidity. Go find this indie film now, because after all The Future is Now!
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