W.H. Auden called the postwar era, “The Age of Anxiety.” I feel like we’re in another one. Between climate, COVID, politics, and technology — there are a lot of things to fear.
LOOKING FORWARD is a short essay that considers how your feelings about the future may change what unfolds — both personally and in the larger world. The film explores conflicted emotions through the expressionistic artifice of AI imagery.
My own life anchors the film. My grandfather fled anti-Semitic killings in Ukraine and lived to see his son introduce First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when she spoke at his high school. Unexpected, dark turns have punctuated my family’s story.
I found in generative AI a potent vehicle for crossing barriers of time and place. The use of stills relates to Chris Marker’s sci-fi LA JETÉE, but in this case the science fiction is what’s happening now.
While LOOKING FORWARD asks about the future, it’s just as focused on the present, and the fleeting experience of being alive.
A film by Steven Ascher
Produced by Steven Ascher & Jeanne Jordan
Music by Sheldon Mirowitz
“So wise, so beautiful and so fascinating to take in. I love this smart and elegant film! Great filmmaking — and beautifully written, too. Amid these down days, I feel a little better — and this feeling just might last!” – Guy Maddin