a short review of AUTÓMATA

Above are the opening titles that introduce Autómata and its setting of #neartermhumanextinction, #heavyspaceweather and #atemporality.

This movie is an instant classic that belongs on the shelf right between Bladerunner and Hardware; and just in case you’re not sure it’s full of explicit spot-the-Bladerunner-bingo references, and features Dylan McDermott in a role that could make you think he’s always been a gritty sf actor, and never some forgettable tv star (sorry guy).

Add in a simplified version of the Three Laws of Robotics for good measure and plot engineering…

It takes a while to build (/wade through the slow-fire execution of said plot engine), but where the film gets amazing is as an exploration of the robot-as-posthuman-as-humankind’s child species and the slow boot-up of a machine civilisation.

With dialog like:

“Where’s your boss?
“Boss’ is a human thought structure.

and

“We do not obey orders from humans. Not any more.”
“Kneel down. Why is it so difficult for you to accept my orders, if you’re just a machine?”
“Just a machine? That’s like saying you’re just an ape. Just a violent ape.

Who does the scorched earth belong to? Who is the fittest species now? Who is shedding all masks and earnestly marching into the future (desert of the real) to make their fate?

***

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