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Future So Bright2011

  • 4.0
FUTURE SO BRIGHT is a documentation and mapping project that creatively catalogs abandoned spaces in the American West. Perhaps best classified as an experimental-documentary, the film explores ghost towns, abandoned military bases, and boarded up tourist traps to present a meditative time capsule of the false starts and failed attempts of the past 200 years of American Western Expansion. Whether it be early mining boomtowns and pioneer settlements, remote WWII-era military outposts, or the roadside attractions that the introduction of car culture ushered onto the back roads of America, development associated with western expansion has, and continues, to be marked by rapid growth and rapid abandonment. FUTURE SO BRIGHT attempts to catalog these places while examining the disposable mentality of American Western expansion, creating a time capsule for the forgotten spaces and abandoned relics that are quickly being reclaimed by nature or new development. FUTURE SO BRIGHT is an unfinished and constantly evolving project and has been presented in different formats.

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"A haunting and lonely portrait of the remnants of westward expansion . . . the structures that people leave behind in search of the American dream." - Chas Bowie, The Portland Mercury


Member Reviews (11)

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top reviewer

beautiful & great

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top reviewer

Hauntingly interesting and visually absorbing.

An extraordinary cinematographic art book. Having traveled extensively in this region it is highly evocative.

Beautiful photography, every shot is framed perfectly, but it's light on content. It could have used a soundtrack, or narration, to make it more engaging. I recommend putting on some music while you watch; some soft, haunting folk, classical, or indie rock seems to fit pretty well.

I could have done it myself and I am not a filmmaker or even a photographer. Old abandoned structures/homes/buildings are fascinating; you wonder who lived there, why did they abandoned the place, what were the inhabitants like, did anyone died or was born there?

The film does not provide any depth other than the still photographs; no historical or geographical context.

FUTURE SO BRIGHT is an exquisite montage of photographs covering abandoned structures and deserted settings. While the subject matter of the photographs might at first glance appear to be a real downer, McCormick’s fine sense of composition, juxtapositions of structures with the natural landscape, and an overall appreciation of color contrasts makes for an impressive and at times dazzling array of images that at times approaches the quality of a painted canvas or that of abstract designs. There is no spoken commentary throughout, which (at least to this viewer) tends to make one wonder, “What were these structures and settings like when things were in full bloom?” i. e. when as the title suggests “The Future (was) So Bright.” That intended viewer response then becomes quite obvious at the very conclusion of the film, when McCormick cleverly ends with a video obviously filmed years ago in the 50s by presumably his father of a tourist mecca called Santa Claus, Arizona (which the viewer had just witnessed as a present day ghost town) this time showing the setting when everything was alive and in full swing. A marvelous touch albeit a bit ironic and somewhat melancholic!

A beautifully still-shot, narrationless tour of abandoned America. The final 'scene' has a nice implicative effect on the previous 'scenes'. All these spaces have been lived in. I didn't really like the light leak effects; I think they undermine the otherwise austere and wonderfully framed images.

haunting and so evocative, "the old west" lovely shots, sensitive sound-track and luv the birds, 16 mm bolex and some-one knew how to use it, also love the flaring in some shots .. this is great fim-making in a pure form, thanx

Great pix, good idea... limited.

Views of deserted buildings in the silence of the moment. A little eerie but engaging. No dialogue. Was glad the places were listed at the end of the film.

Interesting. Having grown up in the West, I saw many such buildings and houses. I still do.