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, 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. Together they travel to Death Valley to meet Lewis Fordham (Frank Hoyt Taylor), a retired scientist who believes climate change will turn the world into a desert by 2100 and the pair are confronted by their fears of the end of everything they know.
The first feature film from director Diane Bell, Obselidia was an official selection in the Dramatic Feature Competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize and the Award for Excellence in Cinematography. It was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, the John Cassavetes Award and Best First Screenplay.