The notion of time travel is almost as old as time itself. Ever since we humans invented the idea, we’ve been struggling against it, wanting to go forwards, and then backwards, anywhere but the oppressive present. Director Ela Thier takes this conceit, and tips it gently on its head in her remarkable new film Tomorrow Ever After. Continue reading…
In the year 2592, the world is a far different place. People do a lot of hugging, no one sleeps alone, and everyone is kitted up with a credit card-sized gizmo called an implement that functions as a universal tool. But human error endures, and when a science experiment goes awry, a woman named Shaina is accidentally catapulted backwards in time to the year 2015. Stranded and alone, she must find her way back to her own time, with little more than her wits, and her handy dandy implement. But in this current moment (referred to in the future as “The Great Despair”) no one much wants to help. The only person who will even talk to Shaina is Milton (Nabil Vinas), a would-be mugger who needs rent money. Humans are deeply alienated, not only from each other, but also from themselves. While Shaina tries to make contact with the future, the present keeps getting in the way. Manipulated, exploited, and finally, institutionalized, our sweet-natured heroine soldiers on, trying to find a way home.
Like the best science fiction, Tomorrow Ever After functions as a refractory lens through which to better see our own time and place. References to other works of fiction and film, including John Sayles’ Brother from Another Planet, and Marge Piercy’s Women on the Edge of Time are clear. (There are even faint echoes of The Wizard of Oz upon occasion.) But the quality that Ms. Their’s film most reminded me of was the early work of Henry Jaglom and Jim Jarmusch. Thier possesses the same lightness of tone, and nimbleness of idea and thought, as well as profoundly humanist approach to character and story. In the midst of watching the haplessly sweet Shaina bumble through our world, talking endlessly and earnestly to anyone who will listen, something profound begins to happen. Namely, that you recognize yourself and your own behaviour in the world she is forced to contend with. It is a rare film that insinuates itself so gently into your consciousness, and then opens up like a stealth bomb inside your mind and heart.
I felt very different after watching Tomorrow Ever After, and that is a very good thing. — Dorothy Woodend
Team #MOTW Comments:
Anne Brodie: Ela Thier’s sci-fi adventure Tomorrow Ever After is the story of a woman from the future who finds herself alone and lost in 2015 in Manhattan. Its the ultimate “fish out of water” story following a 63 year old woman who seems too innocent to survive life in the city. Apparently love, peace and kindness is the norm for life in the future and these things don’t play well as she tries to find her way back home. Still she never loses her sweet earnestness, or faith in humanity. Thier’s fable is a leap of imagination written and performed with a tenderness rarely seen in mainstream films. As sweet and hopeful as it is, there is power in it and a call to change our cold, lonely ways.
Betsy Bozdech: Original and charming, Tomorrow Ever After achieves what few films manage to: Giving viewers a truly fresh perspective on their current circumstances. What it lacks in glossy production values, it more than makes up for with its heart. Like main character Shaina, it grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. And although it ends on a somewhat bittersweet note, it simultaneously offers hope for the future, something we all could use a bit more of these days.
Sheila Roberts: In her surprising and delightful sci-fi dramedy, “Tomorrow Ever After,” indie filmmaker Ela Thier writes, produces, directs, edits, and delivers a compelling performance as a naïve time-traveler who never loses her faith in humanity. It’s a powerful message about the positive future of today’s dystopian society.
Pam Grady: The human condition in all of its glory and mess comes into sharp focus in writer/director/star Ela Thier’s inspired, funny, and ultimately moving dramedy that views the denizens of modern-day New York through the wide eyes of a naive traveler from an apparently idyllic future.
Nell Minow: This bittersweet story of a future historian trying to understand our time is wry, winsome, wistful, and winning.
Jennifer Merin: In Ela Thier’s futuristic and delightfully quirky sci-fi dramedy, naive woman has come from the future to the now as part of a research team sent to dig up our species’ social history. When she gets separated from the rest of her team she employs her ‘implement,’ a universally useful access tool that looks like a credit card, to effort regrouping with her colleagues — and to get her whatever she needs to survive in the present. Unfortunately it also gets her into trouble. Thier’s DIY film delivers its sanguine and timely message like a well aimed punch to the funny bone
Cate Marquis: The indie science fiction comedy TOMORROW EVER AFTER offers some telling observations on modern life, through the eyes of a stranded time-traveler from the future. Good science fiction very often is a commentary on present-day life. Science fiction movies about a visitor from another time or place, sometimes as a way to comment on society, are nothing new either – think THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL – but what is a bit different in the case of TOMORROW EVER AFTER is that the visitor is from our own future. And TOMORROW EVER AFTER is nearly a one-woman show, with director/writer/editor Ela Thier also starring in her film. Read the full review
Title: Tomorrow Ever Aftr
Director: Ela Thier
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Running Time: 95 minutes
Principal Cast: Ela Thier, Nabil Vinas, Ebbe Bassey
Screenwriters: Ela Thier
Production Company: Thier Productions
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Thelma Adams, Anne Brodie, Betsy Bozdech, Cynthia Fuchs, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Susan Wloszczyna, Jeanne Wolf, Dorothy Woodend
Written byDorothy Woodend, edited by Jennifer Merin, social media by Sandra Kraisirideja