“Such protests are registered only in the minds of their participants, bypassing any transformation of social structure.” Dense sentences on voiceover with dense images flickering by. When it switched to a table of young guys discussing collective economies, I got tired real fast.

Sound and picture editing are hyperactive and wandering, some segments repeating, and clarity of the voiceover is sometimes sacrificed to the random sfx. Not random though – the movie has a particular look despite all the jumping around. A fascinating object, though the VO is too academic to follow for any length of time, reading political essays aloud. Sometimes even the movie itself tires of the narrator and fast-forwards her. And when the essays go on too long they start to overlap and destroy themselves, the visual flitting from swans to mathematics to abstractions to vibrators to legos.

Freedom and power… AI vs. the human mind… the meaning of work. The politics are advocating for three-day weekends, and given that I had time to watch the movie because of a three-day holiday weekend, I would agree. Other works this reminded me of: All Light Everywhere, Ken Jacobs’ Seeking the Monkey King, the less narrative Adam Curtis docs.

Phil Coldiron in Cinema Scope speaks of the difficulty of watching this in the covid era, and pulls the movie into editing software to analyze it further.

Though its pace and intensity will be familiar to those who have followed Medina’s earlier work, Inventing the Future marks a major step forward in terms of density and, in turn, musical or motific intricacy.

Precocious children with parental issues, highly-organized secret plans and old-fashioned craftsy props surrounded by superstar actors including Bill Murray – so yes, it’s like any Wes Anderson movie, but it’s a good one. He has a unique talent for collapsing different locations into one hermetic snowglobe of a film. The visual/conceptual unity is helped by the soft, grainy 16mm cinematography, and that fact that all the action takes place on an island.

In the celeb-actor world, Frances McDormand is cheating on husband Bill Murray with local cop Bruce Willis. Edward Norton leads a troop of scouts, hopes to join his idol, scout commander Harvey Keitel, at the big convention where Jason Schwartzman is some kinda mercenary merchant. And Bob Balaban is a sort-of-present character/narrator.

But one of the movie’s strengths is that it focuses primarily on its young heroes, Sam and Suzy, who run off together and camp on the beach, leaving the celeb-actors as background players. Willis and Norton lead search parties as two threats approach: an epic storm, and Tilda Swinton of Social Services, coming to take Sam to a home.

Katy liked it more than she thought she would.