Day Million
by Frederik Pohl
A Film by Eric Solstein and Benton Bainbridge

Director’s Introduction

Science Fiction Grand Master, Frederik Pohl wrote "Day Million" in a single evening in 1966; an instant classic, it is one of the genre’s most widely anthologized stories. The narrative core is a love story, but the voice of the author questioning the sensibility of the reader (or viewer) is the heart of the piece.

We know that life will be profoundly different in a thousand years, though we can barely cope with the contradictions and confusion in today’s society and culture. By transporting this simple love story to a strange and distant future, Pohl directly challenges the smallness of our contemporary world view and the pervasiveness of our prejudices.

The author reads us his story before the camera. We hear his tone and the stunning use of language; we preserve the direct address that distinguishes this writing. The imagery that accompanies his reading is intentionally expressionistic, it avoids fixing the characters and locations in the viewer’s mind. The visuals complement and respect the text, serving as a target to focus and assist the viewer in internalizing the story within their own experience. Though opposed to traditional filmed narrative and seemingly at odds with accepted notions of realism, "Day Million" is a uniquely honest and direct cinematic experience.

The film combines live action photography, miniatures, animation, and both digital & analog special effects. Footage has also been sampled (with permission) from Ed Emshwiller’s 1969 film, "Image, Flesh and Voice," a classic of the New American Cinema. We hope you find this to be an experimental film of unusual clarity, richness and visual beauty.

-Eric Solstein

Plot Synopsis

"Day Million" is a simple love story between a boy and a girl that takes place one thousand years from now.

But the girl is not a girl.

She is a boy, and that fact does not trouble her, nor any of the people of "Day Million." Dora meets Don in the most insignificant of accidents, they fall in love nearly instantly and marry shortly thereafter.

Benton Bainbridge as Adonis, Don for short.

At their wedding, they exchange recordings of their particular passions, go their separate ways, continuing their lives as before they met. Whenever either feels even a twinge of desire for the other, they can enjoy that partner fully and deeply through their recorded analogs.

This narrative occupies only seven paragraphs in the middle of the story. The rest is in the telling. The rest is about us.

Ed Emshwiller Bio (and more) follow

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