The story of ISA award-winning “Futureworld” is definitely what makes this short film extraordinary and intelligent, but another significant strength of this movie is the animation itself.
Directed by Christopher Angus (Canada)
The way technology is evolving can be scary. For years, people have made movies about machines controlling humans and destroying the world people know. Recently, there was created a robot that impersonates all the robots from those movies: intelligently independent, that is starting to show emotions. Some people find it extraordinary; other people find it absolutely terrifying. Either way, even if it is not as apocalyptical and destructive as those Sci-Fi movies, the truth is technology is becoming more and more evolved and independent. Machines can do the jobs by themselves, cars can drive automatically, and robots are becoming more similar to humans. It is impossible not to wonder what the future holds and how humanity is going to deal with all the technology advances. The short film “Futureworld” directed and animated by Christopher Angus brings to life all the speculations and concerns about the future ruled by technology.
The short film shows three “different” worlds: the past, present, and future. However, it is the future one that most resembles the critique of technology (and it is also what gives the name to the film). Just like nowadays, a group of elderlies play cards in an elderly center, except one big difference: they have machines with claws that play the cards for them. While they play, they talk about their youth. One of the characters complains about the pain in his thumbs and blames his college years, and all the time he spent tapping on a phone. Now with the smartphones that are basically small laptops with all the crazy apps and social media, people are always texting, playing games or on the Internet. It is rare to see people in a public space without their phones on their hands. What the character says is definitely a joke with criticism on it, but it is so smart and somewhat sarcastic. Not just this part but also the rest of the movie is so enjoyable to watch because of that: even though it is talking about a serious topic, it is done in such clever way that comes off as sarcastic humor.
The story of “Futureworld” is definitely what makes this short film extraordinary and intelligent, but another significant strength of this movie is the animation itself. Most cartoons follow a specific type of drawing. However, in this short film, the animation has a unique trace. The characters are more like caricatures with disproportional faces, and in most scenes, the visuals are more minimal – sometimes it even looks like just sketches. It is very fresh to see animation that does not necessarily follow what people are used to seeing in movies and TV. It brings something new and is highly appreciated – it’s like fresh air.
ISA award-winning “Futureworld” is a piece that makes the audience reflect on serious problems but at the same time is very engaging. By the end, the only bad thing about this short film is that it is so short and leaves a wish in the air to be longer and to let the audience find out more about the group of elders and the world they live in.
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