World of Tomorrow (2015)
To be honest I'm not sure what happened. I have every expectation that I watched this for the Filmspots in some capacity, yet I didn't have it checked at iCheckMovies and I didn't remember it. And I would have remembered it because boy is it great (and a deserving winner). Having just binged season 4 of Black Mirror, this feels like an adjunct entry, with its wry, bleak sci-fi structure concerning digitizing or replicating consciousness. It is just absurd enough that the gimmick of working the dialogue around unscripted babbling of a young girl plays exceptionally well because that is the nature of young children. Over the holidays spending time with my nephew I was thinking #kidsplaining needed to be a thing, when a child takes 10x longer to poorly explain a concept you already understand because they are bad at planning out what they are saying. There is some interesting class satire fit in as well. Thanks to Junior for making me fill this inexplicable gap.
World of Tomorrow Episode Two (2017)
Yeah, so this isn't good at all. It has the commonality of being worked around a now slightly older child's ramblings, as visited by a future version of the girl, but here there was less of a thematic coherence to the interaction. It just seemed long and random and just supremely disappointing. Now I look forward to seeing if Junior's disappointment was along similar lines.
I've "taught" World of Tomorrow twice now. Not really taught, because college freshmen aren't super into absurd sci-fi that's so chock full of ideas that it almost bursts, but at least I showed it to them and their lives are a little weirder for having seen it, and I think that's a good thing. You, bondo, probably don't quite need that little push, so I'm glad it still worked for you. I think the only reason it doesn't burst from all those ideas is exactly what you point out as #kidsplaining. And yes, I liked the small class touches and I love the raw feeling Don H. pulls from his subjects' ramblings because that also keeps the film in touch. For a movie so full of ideas, it's the melancholy that the clone Emily feels in her interactions with Emily Prime juxtaposed with the aloof kid-ness that Emily Prime responds with that I really connect to and remember. For me, World of Tomorrow is a movie about living in today, no matter what today is. I think it's a pretty great version of that oft-expressed notion and for that it makes my list. I also love the look of it. Glad you latched on as well!
And yeah World of Tomorrow Episode 2 is kinda crap, right? There's not one sci-fi idea as good as the moon robots that recite poetry to keep themselves going, there's not one interaction between Emily Prime and any of the more numerous clones that matches the greatness of even the smallest moment in the first short. Ok, I liked the time-traveling vacation that the clones go on, especially that scene at the restaurant. And yes, the memory bit is pretty solid. But that feels a little like a retread of the memory museum from the first go-round. The only thing E2 has over the original is some nifty special effects. But even there, I don't like them as much as I like the stuff from the first. And you're right, it feels twice as long and half as interesting. Just not great, though I'm holding out hope that there will be more and he'll get closer to the greatness of the first short. That'd be nice.