A.I. Artificial Intelligence Screen 7 articles

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

2001

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Poster
  • This is much the same movie I thought it was the last time I saw it summer 2001 (the Twin Towers live on here): consistently distressing/gripping first act, nightmarish finale, garbage middle with filler CGI spectacle and the would-be terrifying spectacle of robot slaughter conducted for the ignorant masses with those notedly scary musicians Ministry (!) holding court at center stage.

  • It takes science-fiction cinema to new heights of dramatic and philosophical expression, and perhaps also to new depths of morbidity and pessimism about the human condition, along with its special-effects virtuosity. This is to say that it might be a hard sell to the more credulous consumers of this summer’s mindless blockbusters.

  • As a blockbuster, it is wayward and fascinating – fascinating precisely because not everything in it makes comfortable sense, or fits together well. But it is incontestably a cultural event of the highest order. . . . A.I. is a monumentally perverse film. Indeed, its wildest moments are enough to make one imagine that Kubrick’s ghost has possessed Spielberg and made him twist his usual, cloying sentimentality into something altogether stranger and more disturbing.

  • Viewers who criticize [the] final scene... as sentimental usually overlook that it is occurring long after humanity has died out. This means that the death Naremore refers to has to be the death of an emotion or idea — even if, as the film’s offscreen narration implies, it is also the birth of a dream, a robot’s dream. Perhaps it could be regarded as an artificial and manufactured footnote to the human race, a sort of ghostly echo. Something, in short, that is very much like a film.

  • When I saw A.I. again after the towers had fallen... what was once an awe-inspiring, audacious effects shot was now a literally breathtaking image, the devastating incongruity of which was instantly apparent to anyone who would ever again watch the film... it’s fitting that such an image [the Twin Towers in a far-future NYC] appears in A.I., a richly evocative paean to time, memory, and the ebbs and flows of human progress and destruction.

  • Even by itself, the last scene is a perfect mixture of Spielberg’s emotional cuddliness layered over Kubrick’s bottomless bleakness, a combination that, rather than lighten the mood, actually makes it even more depressing. A completely artificial emotional moment contained within a vacuum, the last failure of an artificial boy striving for authenticity matched with the last gasp of a dead civilization, millennia of feeling and accomplishment dissolved under a cold, clinical lens.

  • Stanley Kubrick originally developed the project, but A.I. is a movie that only Spielberg could create. (It’s also one of only two scripts that he’s written for himself to direct; the other is Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.) The most delicate of sci-fi masterpieces, it concerns itself with the world we leave behind, discovering humanity in our last traces; the deeply moving ending is its own Voight-Kampff test.

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