Later That Same Life: Speaking to Yourself

What would you do if you had the chance to communicate with your younger self? If you somehow had a way of telling the you of the past to avoid certain mistakes, to work harder, to be more spontaneous? Or, would you jump at the possibility to meet the you of the future, and gain an insight into how well your existence has turned out? Working around the boundaries of time, novelist Stoney Emshwiller has found a way to give himself this unique opportunity- at 18 years old, in 1977, Emshwiller filmed himself hosting an interview with his older self. Now, thirty-eight years later and at the age of 56 he has finally sat down to answer the questions of the younger him, and he’s going on to turn the conversation into a film titled “Later That Same Life”.


From the short sample clip Emshwiller has already released, the film looks set to have all the humour that one would expect from being directly faced with the younger and somewhat more naive version of themselves- the surprise at how your looks have slipped with age, the funny interests you’ve picked up in things that you couldn’t have known or cared less about before. However, amongst the comedy the project also has an unexpected poignancy- after the optimism and sense of invincibility from Emshwiller’s youth disappears, there is the bittersweet realisation that all of his hopes and dreams have not quite been fulfilled, and as we see the writer attempt to hint at his younger self to spend more time with family, Emshwiller reminds the audience of the important aspects of life that slip by in the buzz of the everyday, key relationships that we often fail to appreciate in the moment.

Ultimately, Emshwiller’s “Later That Same Life” not only plays on the idea of retrospect, but also highlights the inevitably unpredictable twists and turns of our lives, and our complete state of unknowing of how exactly things will end up.

Source: Boing Boing