Synopsis by Mark Deming
Two people fascinated with the past wonder if they have a future together in this independent drama. George (Michael Piccirilli) is a librarian who in his spare time poses as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman as he works on an ambitious project: "The Obselidia," an encyclopedia that catalogs the huge number of things that have gone obsolete in 21st Century culture. George distrusts most present day technology -- he refuses to drive a car, he doesn't own a cell phone or a land line with buttons, and while he grudgingly uses a computer at work, he won't allow one in his home and does his writing on a manual typewriter. As George is researching his Obselidia, he meets Sophie (Gaynor Howe), a lovely young woman who works as a projectionist at a movie theater specializing in vintage silent films. Sophie is also fascinated with relics of the past, but is more open-minded and doesn't share George's dread about a culture in flux. Despite George's tremendous discomfort around women, he's fascinated by Sophie, and they begin an intellectual courtship as they discuss their many opinions about the changing world around them. A side trip into exploring the future takes George and Sophie to Death Valley, where they meet Lewis (Frank Hoyt Taylor), a retired scientist who believes climate change will turn the world into a desert by 2100 and tells the few people he sees to enjoy the present day, since man's days on Earth are numbered. The first feature film from director Diane Bell, Obselidia was an official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for Excellence in Cinematography.