Oscar-nominated British character actor Pete Postlethwaite has passed away at the age of 64 from cancer. You may have seen him last year in "Clash of the Titans," "Inception" and/or "The Town," but he was also in a very interesting work that SnagFilms showcased in their 2010 SummerFest: "The Age of Stupid." Postlethwaite seemed to be dabbling in documentary in recent years, narrating the afterlife portrait of Brian Clough, simply titled "Clough," and appearing in "Tattoos: A Scarred History, in which he displays his own body art. He does something a little different for "The Age of Stupid," though, functioning as sort of an onscreen narrator of the clever global-warming warning film from "McLibel" director Franny Armstrong.
Set in 2055, the film features Postlethwaite as "the archivist," a man looking through video files on his computer and presenting the audience with documentary clips from the present (his past) as evidence of what went wrong with the planet. Mainstream fans may think of "Minority Report" as they watch, while others will see the technique as relative to recent interactive database docs by Sharon Daniels or those utilizing the Korsakow program. As I noted elsewhere, it also implies that in the future we will have even worse attention spans than we do now. In any event, it's more fascinating for how it lays out the information than what that information says or shows, but it gives us a fine way to appreciate Postlethwaite straight on and imagine that he actually lived another 45 years.
"The Age of Stupid" is no longer available through SnagFilms, but you can stream the hybrid film from Netflix. First, you can check out the trailer, embedded after the jump.