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Unearth a Future Archaeologist's Sci-Fi Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival

See Daniel Arsham's 'Future Relic 01-04' this weekend, starring James Franco, Juliette Lewis, Ethan Suplee, and more.
Image by James Law, courtesy of Film the Future

It begins in 2055 with imagery of shallow waves washing against a beach. A female voice, that of young protagonist Lona Rey (played by Aimee Laurence), talks about how these waves are crashing in on skyscrapers. Now, people “live closer to the moon than to the sea.” The film then flashes back to 2045, where two commercial pilots fly a jet through a catastrophic storm. In 2095, an adult Lona Rey (Juliette Lewis) visits her father’s abandoned lab. It concludes (at least until next year's sequel) in 2160, with James Franco in a silver space suit, tampering with boomboxes, VHS tapes, and more sculpted from earthly materials including obsidian and volcanic ash.


Last Saturday night at Tribeca Film Festival, multimedia artist Daniel Arsham screened his 16-minute film, Future Relic 01-04, a collage of new and old material from a selection of the nine to-be short films he plans to soon debut as a full feature.

Future Relic 03 Official Trailer from Film the Future on Vimeo.

Image by James Law, courtesy of Film the Future

Also starring James Franco, Juliette Lewis, Ethan Suplee, and Matthew Maher, these films provide a narrative and contextual landscape to Arsham’s "future archaeology" artistic practice. Each chapter of the film includes one Future Relic sculpture, a piece with the shape of a dead or dying technology, composed out of volcanic ash.

Image by James Law, courtesy of Film the Future

Future Relic 01 and Future Relic 02 once gave the perception of being individual short films in a series, but the latest two chapters, Future Relic 03 and Future Relic 04, string them into a narrative collage of moments through flashbacks, flash-forwards, and allegorical, but ever-time-traveling moments. As the film progresses, Rey, the daughter of Dr. Mattias Rey—the scientist who excavated parts out of the moon to counteract climate change by changing its gravitational pull—and her quest to find him after he disappeared when she was younger.

“I have always found the concept of ‘The Future’ to be a perfect vessel in which to encapsulate all of my creative pursuits," Arsham explains. "It is a dream, a vision of things possible made from a mixture of the present and the past, and a projection of our hopes and fears. For me, the future is all about potential, both good and bad, benevolent and evil.”


Future Relic 03 is screening as part of Shorts: Gallery Opening at TFF 2015. Learn more and buy tickets on its Tribeca Film Festival website, and catch up on the Future Relic series on NOWNESS.

Image by James Law, courtesy of Film the Future

Image by James Law, courtesy of Film the Future

Daniel Arsham. Image by James Law, courtesy of Film the Future


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