In the 1930s, everyone probably assumed that in 2017 we’d be flying around cities encased in glass domes courtesy of our personalized jet packs. If they could see the modern world today, they’d no doubt be disappointed. Allow the new sci-fi comedy Future ’38 to imagine and present the world of tomorrow that might have been. Writer/director Jamie Greenberg’s sophomore feature, which debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival in January and has its New York premiere tonight, June 8, at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, is conceived as a film made in the ’30s that happens to take place in the far-off year of 2018. Dispatched on a mission into the future to prevent World War II, time traveler Essex (Nick Westrate) finds himself in a brave new world where phone operators (played by Sean Young) stand by ready to connect your call on a TV screen and “LOL” stands for “Lay Off Lloyd.” Watch an exclusive clip from the film above.
To further the illusion that we’re watching a 1938 picture set in 2018, Greenberg films Future ’38 in the then-standard 1.33 aspect ratio and mimics the bright hues of early Technicolor cinema. The performances are also pure ’30s, with leading lady Betty Gilpin — soon to be seen on the Netflix series, Glow — doing an ace Rosalind Russell impression as Banky, a distinctly (retro) modern woman who helps Essex in his quest. Since the Golden Age of Hollywood was all about romance, it goes without saying that these two crazy kids can’t help falling for each other. After all, the future may always change, but great love stories are timeless.
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