Originally made at Charles Street Video in 1998, recut ten years later at home. art one of the nine-part feature Imitations of Life (2003).
“In a tightly constructed barrage of old Hollywood images and more, he searches the past to illuminate our future, producing a collage shining with gestures and fixed looks that touch us deeply in their familiarity. In the Future is a film steeped in culture, one of the most concise and poetic of its kind."(Barbara Goslawski, Take One)
“Even in his final film Mike Hoolboom works with the history of film, with material that is not untangled from interpretations. Excerpts from films do not exist on their own; they are presented in layers with respect to evolutional continuity. The syntactic theme of the film is the awareness of the competing images (layering as disappearing).
At the same time, Hoolboom tells us as the narrator that the moving image has disrupted the awareness of death. It is as if it accepted the role of death: if death was a protest against life and against the dream of eternity, then the film, by capturing the disappearing images, by fixating all that had to die first, makes death eternal. Film not as a preservation of life, but film as eternal death. We have to learn to die once more, to free ourselves from our own image. Both color and black-and-white film is used; subtitles and the ironic sound track reflect the possibilities of the film essay.” Petr Kubica, Jihlava International Festival catalogue