Young Emily

In World of Tomorrow, we have a lot of information thrown at us in 16 minutes. We meet only one character, Emily, and we are informed of her dismal future via a monologue from her future self. The future is devoid of emotion, and everyone simply exists. World of Tomorrow does an excellent job of interweaving humor with morbid situations. I laughed when Emily described people burning in the atmosphere as shooting stars, but this would probably be a horrifying situation to actually be in. Emily’s monotonous tone of voice almost makes us feel emotionless towards the fate of humanity as well.

The film needs present Emily to be young in order to work as well as it does. Young Emily is clueless and naive the whole time she is being told about humanity’s fate. She doodles in the outernet, and pokes the stars as they float through space together. Young Emily speaks in broken sentences, so she does not ask a ton of questions, or react with dismay as future Emily narrates her current state. This helps the film to take its own direction. If Emily could formulate effective questions, we would immediately expect her to ask the same questions we would in her position. We would want her to demand more explanations and suggest solutions. Since young Emily cannot do this, we accept the information we are provided and speculate the rest. Having Emily be as young as she is forces the audience to mull over the film and think about it more instead of having everything simply handed to us.

A younger Emily is also easier to attach to. We see Emily playing with her toys and she’s full of curiosity towards her surroundings, and then we see the stark contrast of her emotionless, cold future self. This striking change in personality is much more evident by showing the present Emily as a child instead of an adult.

What would have been lost if present Emily had been a different age? Do you think the younger Emily worked well? If not, what would you have chosen instead?


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