Imitation of Life

Mike Hoolboom

2001, 20:00 minutes, colour, English


"Hoolboom plunders all of cinema for this epic meta-science fiction in which the future and the present are conceived as an endless parade of images. Science fiction as a realm of displaced fears and dreams, a place to imagine a future that's already here." (Chris Gehman)

"Imitation of Life is an insightful and rather beautiful rumination on the terrifying notion that we, as a society, have forgotten how to imagine the future. Hoolboom suggests that the banal futures of such contemporary sci-fi flicks as The Matrix are, in fact, our own present. But distracted by the images churned out by the Hollywood machine, we don't notice. We recycle history, call it style, sit and stagnate. Hoolboom's film drives the horror home with a force seen not nearly often enough." (Nick Davies, Xtra!)

"Imitations of Life surveys disaster imagery from Hollywood movies while titles articulate "our desire to destroy everything." Director Mike Hoolboom includes both the microscopic (cells) and the macroscopic (galaxies), the disparity between them generating a sense of free-floating displacement.” (Fred Camper, Chicago Reader)

Now that I'm older I have friends of every age, but the wisest and most important are all under ten. They seem unconcerned about the future, these living science fictions, they've already glimpsed all that's to come, in the images we've left to them, strained through their own imaginations of course, the small aperture we name as personality, but as I look on in their company at the shape of things to come, I wonder if they'll be able to remember what I can't. The conversations I wish I had and didn't. Perhaps the letters never sent, the undelivered bon mots, will simply dissolve, like all of us, into nothing at all. When I look into their eyes I keep sticking on that last line of the famous Camus essay: one must imagine Sisyphus happy.

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