Future Attractions

Maja Borg is an ECA graduate so I know her, so I’m prejudiced. Naturally I wanted to see her debut feature, FUTURE, MY LOVE, a documentary in the running for the Michael Powell Award at this year’s EIFF.

The film concerns the ideas of Jacque Fresco, who has a vision of a “resource-based economy” which will do away with money and use science to provide all of humanity with everything they need. Maja interviews Fresno at length, and speaks to other futurists who share some of his vision — automation could in theory free mankind from toil and create an age of plenty, or so it’s argued. We’re encouraged to look at money as a form of interference between people and their needs. Remove money from the equation and everything gets better!

The Sanskrit word for war translates literally as “not enough cows.”

Fresco is an appealing character — he’s 96 right now, but was a few years younger when Maja first started filming him. Age has made him a little less fierce (he’s quite a forceful character in the archive clips) but no less determined and passionate. I wanted to believe him.

I also wanted to embrace the film’s other strand, a poetic, personal voice-over about a relationship, described in somewhat abstract terms. The narrator’s lover might be, I suppose, The Future. But I couldn’t quite fit this together. Visually and aurally the crisp video and grainy 8mm work very nicely together, bonded by Per Störby’s pulsating score, but conceptually they didn’t seem to gel, although I love the IDEA of merging a traditional documentary with an experimental, meditative work. But without the specifics that make a relationship real, the personal story lacks affect, and thus felt trivial compared to the saving mankind stuff. But something about it nags at me — it does balance the certainties of Fresco’s philosophy with something more diffident and mysterious, and I’m still wondering if a second viewing will result in a Eureka! moment.

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