Monday, 27 August 2012

Preview: How To Survive The Future


If you saw brill Bristolian documentary 'Invisible Circus – No Dress Rehearsal' you might have wondered what happened next. I did too, so I caught up with filmmaker Naomi Smyth as she and her husband, Sam, embarked – quite literally – on their next project, which is called How To Survive the Future. Apparently they will be navigating 'a Europe on the brink of bankruptcy. We explore what living without a functioning economic and political system is like, meeting compelling characters and relaying the darker comedic side of collapse.'

Naomi and Sam are intending to sail across Britain then Europe, talking to people who think we're about to undergo economic and ecological meltdown. I hope those people are wrong, because personally I wouldn't want to get stuck in a 22-foot yacht for the meltdown of civilisation. They took me onto the boat, and I have to say that it is tiny. It has a pair of 4-horsepower diesel engines - which is tiny. There's a sail. That's tiny. They don't really have much sailing experience. So I think the two of them are going to be learning a bit about survival on the way.

I thought 'Invisible Circus – No Dress Rehearsal' was fascinating because it followed what should have been an implausible, pie-in-the-sky idea and watched as it ran with away with itself. It also followed the people and the politics, the hard graft and compromises involved. It was, in some sense, despite its grubby squats and scruffy circus-artists, a heartwarming tale about the triumph of the human spirit, which anyone in Hollywood would recognise.

I've no idea how that's going to translate into a boat-trip across Europe to talk to survivalists. But I do think that Naomi is a really good filmmaker with a knack of pulling the salient, characterful bits out of her interviewees, and weaving it all into a narrative. So I'm quite intrigued to see what comes out of the final cut. I'm sure the film will be great. I will say this, though, if that boat makes it to the end of the process, I do, solemnly and faithfully, promise to eat my laptop.

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