While virtual and augmented reality are still trying to make their way into our everyday life, we know it’s only a matter of time before they’re finally fully integrated. But what if the future isn’t really like that of a glossy sci-fi movie but rather looks like a dreary, dystopian urban fantasy? That’s what a new short film called Hyper-Reality is showing us, and while on one hand it looks pretty interesting to see how director Keiichi Matsuda envisions our future, but it’s also so close to reality that it can be depressing enough.
The 6 minute short film shows a day in the life of a 42-year-old Colombian woman, Juliana Restrepo as she goes about doing grocery shopping for other people. It is shot from her POV and we see that all aspects of human life have been embraced by different kinds of technology, like VR, AR, wearables, Internet of Things, etc. Even on the street, shop signs, road signs, traffic, people she comes across, have overlay of information and interaction indicators, as seen through her VR headset. She is dissatisfied with her lot and this will eventually lead to some pretty disturbing consequences.
But while on paper that all seems so exciting, the film presents it in a way where it is very dreary and depressing and the information and sensory overload that accompanies it gives you a feeling of confusion and anxiety. And the scariest part of this is that these things aren’t just too fantastic; they are actually a pretty close mirror to our eventual reality. And it is a reality check indeed that things will not always be fine and dandy if we let technology take us over, as has been warned by hundreds of books, TV shows, movies, etc.
This is the first in a trilogy of short conceptual films that Matsuda, a designer by trade, is making to show his vision for the future. He actually raised money through Kickstarter to be able to make these films. The second was also shot in Colombia and will be a collaboration with car brand MINI.