Friday, April 24, 2015
|Screening Passes for Thomas Hardy adaptation "Far From the Madding Crowd" up NEXT (5/4)|
Artificial Intelligence (AI), what does this term bring up for you?By Tinsel & Tine Editor - Le Anne Lindsay
My first thought is that bad after taste you get from artificial sweetener. But when I examine what it really is, lifelike interaction by a computer, robot or machine, then I think, I want one. I really related to the Spike Jonze movie HER (click for T&T post) not the falling in love part, but the companionship of a computer. I kinda feel that way about my laptop, cellphone, TV and car, my life would seem so empty, boring and difficult without these technical conveniences. But what about an actual human-like companion, who can pass for a person when dressed in clothes and a wig to cover their optic fibers and circuitry? As a single female, not interested in internet dating or Tinder, I think a robot man might do nicely on a couple of lonely Friday nights...
Screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Dredd, Sunshine) decided he'd direct his latest film, a creepy Sci-fi, with nice plot twists - EX MACHINA. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) works as a programmer or coding expert for a Google like company called Bluebook. He wins an inter-corporate contest to spend a week with the founder, Nathan (Oscar Isaac) of Bluebook, and thinks it's an amazing chance to hang out with a super intelligent programming genius, hashing out theories and going over Algorithm and Ambient Occlusion and techie junk like that.
When he gets to the mountain fortress which is part nature retreat and part secret underground scientific lab, he finds Nathan to be somewhat off putting, if you saw Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis (click for T&T post), then you know what I mean by "off putting". Nathan tells Caleb that he actually brought him there to conduct a Turing Test, the ultimate exam for artificial intelligence (named for Alan Turing, the protagonist of The Imitation Game (click for T&T post), to determine if an AI is indistinguishable from a human.
The Turing Test is being conducted on a beautiful AI with an angelic face named Ava (Alicia Vikander) Ava is very careful and particular in her speech and walk, her frame is transparent so you can see all her circuitry and wiring, but otherwise she interacts like a person who is well studied, but has lived a sheltered existence, which is true. Nathan monitors Caleb's conversational tests with Ava on closed circuit TV, but during a power outage, Ava urges Caleb not to trust Nathan, that he's not what he appears.
The Creators Projeect Ex Machina Behind the Scenes| Examining Our Fear of Artificial Intelligence
Ex Machina takes place entirely inside Nathan's minimalist, luxury compound which sets a tension of danger for Caleb who is not free to leave until the helicopter scheduled to return in 7 days comes for him. The script is also quite clever when it comes to keeping the audience guessing on the motives of each character, many mind games being played, but far more interesting than the cat and mouse play between Jonah Hill and James Franco in True Story (click for T&T post). In summation, I loved Ex Machina and recommend seeing it as quickly as possible before you hear or read too much...
Side note: Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson play lovers in the 2012 Keira Knightly/Jude Law remake of Anna Karenina (click for T&T post).
T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 outta 5
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog