The Future is Now Calgary DocumentaryIf Calgary has anything amounting to cinematic stars, Jim Brown and Gary Burns are sure to take the title. Burns has been responsible for intriguing movies including Waydowntown and The Suburbanators and partnered with Brown for the acclaimed film Radiant City. The two filmmakers are back at it with a new project, The Future is Now, which premieres on Friday, July 15 at The Uptown in Calgary with a Q and A with Burns. The film follows a cynical, but moral man labelled the Man of Today, who is wrangled into going on a search for enlightenment by an eager and optimistic journalist (as if those exist) labelled The Woman of Tomorrow. He chats with an impressive smattering of real-life philosophers and architects, artists and anarchists, in a bid to show him that the world is not doomed and that he should embrace, rather than shun, society.

Is it a good film? Well, that’s for you to decide, but at the very least you will get insight into the minds of thinkers that include architect Shigeru Ban, local poet Christian Bök and even a strange guest appearance from Jean-Paul Sartre.

Referencing the 1949 French film, La Vie Commence Demain, the film follows Paul Ahmarani acting as the Everyman, whose response to the seemingly chaotic state of the world is to isolate himself from greater society. In an effort to re-connect him with humanity, an optimistic journalist (portrayed by actress Liane Balaban as the Woman of Tomorrow) takes the audience along with Everyman on a journey of enlightenment in an awe-inspiring exploration of arts and science. Through the great minds of such world-class talents as award-winning novelist Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances), writer and philosopher Alain de Botton, and innovative artist Marlene Dumas, they take a cinematic voyage through endless future possibilities.

Playing now at Calgary’s Uptown Theatre.

Here’s the trailer for the film: