The History of Future Folk
Runs Fri., July 12–Thurs., July 18 at Northwest Film Forum. Not rated. 86 minutes.
Some aspects of Brooklyn hipster culture are insufferable, like fixies and ironic facial hair. But folk musicians from outer space? Who wear red plastic buckets on their heads and play banjo ballads? Future Folk is a real musical duo with a 10-year history performing on New York stages, and they’re an entirely serious yet winningly silly combo. Their musical style could be described as bluegrass—in space! Nils d’Aulaire plays Bill (his alias on Earth), who, back on his home planet of Hondo, is actually General Trius. Assigned to scout out our planet for invasion, Bill has meanwhile married and is raising a cute daughter—and his bedtime stories to her sound suspiciously like the tale we’re watching. Belief in them is optional.
The other half of Future Folk, Jay Klaitz, plays the inept Hondorian assassin Kevin, charged with killing Gen. Trius and getting the whole we-must-conquer-Earth mission back on track. Naturally he also develops an affection for this seed colony, takes up guitar, and develops a crush on a Latina cop (April Hernandez). Destroying all life on our planet soon takes a backseat to crooning folk songs to the ever-larger throngs at Larry’s bar (’80s metal icon Dee Snider).
Directed by Jeremy Kipp Walker and J. Anderson Mitchell, this is a shaggy, enjoyable, homebrewed sci-fi tale where the costumes and plot resemble one of those lo-fi “sweded” remakes in Be Kind Rewind. Kevin and Bill are the galaxy’s worst alien invaders, meaning they just don’t have the heart to exterminate us. Inevitably they shift allegiances when Hondo sends a lethal virus our way. “We don’t have three Earth weeks!” to save the planet, says Bill. How scary is this potential Armageddon? Well, remember this is a bedtime story.