Actors Liane Balaban and Paul Ahmarani aren’t as compelling as the film’s real subjects.
THE FUTURE IS NOW! written and directed by Gary Burns and Jim Brown, with Liane Balaban and Paul Ahmarani. An eOne Entertainment release. 92 minutes. Opens Friday (June 24). See listing. Rating: NNN
Gary Burns and Jim Brown pushed the documentary envelope with Radiant City, a look at urban sprawl that used actors as composite characters to illustrate the increasing homogeneity of Canada's exurbs.
Their new collaboration, The Future Is Now!, takes the conceit a step further. A fictional Montreal journalist (Liane Balaban) tries to convince a fictional interview subject (Paul Ahmarani) that he shouldn't be so pessimistic about the future. The characters - identified only as the Woman of Tomorrow and the Man of Today - visit assorted artists and scientists to discuss coming social changes and their philosophical implications, turning a talking-heads documentary into a more accessible entertainment.
That's the theory anyway, but this time around the artifice proves distracting. Much as I've enjoyed Balaban and Ahmarani elsewhere, the real meat of this movie is in the interviews.