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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: ‘World of Tomorrow’ emphasizes technology’s modern role, beautifully

    “This is your future, Emily Prime. It is sometimes a sad life, and it is a long life.”

    This according to Emily (Julia Pott), the third-generation version of Emily Prime (Winona Mae) in Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar nominated short film “World of Tomorrow.”

    This 17-minute work of art is dedicated to the emphasis on technology in modern times and the idea that people must appreciate life and live in the moment. “World of Tomorrow” — currently on Netflix — completely transforms viewers’ way of thinking by introducing its audience to the complicated and hard-to-discuss topics in life; like death.

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    Emily Prime is essentially the grandmother of Emily, even though the film takes place when Emily Prime is 5 and Emily is talking to her as grown woman from 200 years into the future. Emily’s technology-oriented world allows her to time travel and visit her toddler grandmother to inform her about the bleak future that awaits.

    In the new world exists the Outernet, a neural network evolved form of the Internet. Just like any other system of society, perks and downfalls accompany living in the Outernet system; the rich can time travel and capture their memories in black square boxes to essentially live forever, but the poor don’t have access to such advantages.

    While Emily can enjoy these luxuries and live comfortably in the Outernet, her life is filled with despair and bleakness. This is why she comes to visit Emily Prime, to figure out what went wrong in her life.

    Throughout the film, themes of love, death and depression all come together for a unifying theme of acceptance that makes “The World of Tomorrow” a work of art. Hertzfeldt’s use of stick figures and robot voices — things not seen as having worth or beauty — completely transforms into something powerful and meaningful. The maturity of Hertzfeldt’s film and the concepts presented take generic themes like appreciation to the level of Oscar-worthy originality.

    The takeaway of “World of Tomorrow” is quite simple: technology grows every day and it’s a beautiful thing to witness, but it’s also terrifying.

    Our beautiful brains are actively sucked into the hollowness of our smartphones and their trivial by-products (see: cat videos). Books are slowly becoming a thing of the past, while new iterations of smartphones come out every year. The future is seen as something positive and full of hope, but we don’t know what lies ahead. This film emphasizes that we must always appreciate the things we have, the people we know, the things we do because of this uncertainty.

    Ultimately, “The World of Tomorrow” concludes with the message of living in the present state of mind away from frivolous social media apps in hopes that this will save us from the appetizing irrelevance technology has to offer.

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