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Saturday, February 28, 2004

'Robot stories.'

Robot Stories
Now for a word about a film you do want to see: Greg Pak's Robot Stories, a charming independent science-fiction film with four separate stories about people and their high-tech companions. I found the third and fourth stories in this quartet especially good. (The director, who is taking the film around the country and who took questions from the audience at the screening in Cambridge I attended last night, plays a robot temp — an "iPerson"! — in the third.) Wesley Morris gave the film three stars in the Globe, comparing the movie to Ray Bradbury's stories: "Pak's collection of related shorts comes closer than any film I can think of to capturing Bradbury's mood of wariness and glee when science makes a breakthrough." Mrs Philocrites and I enjoyed it a lot.

If you're in New York or Boston, see the film while you can this week. It will be in Chicago and Los Angeles next. Check the film's Web site for details, and see what the critics have to say at Rotten Tomatoes.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 28 February 2004 at 9:48 PM

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March 1, 2004 01:38 AM | Permalink for this comment

I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. I also saw it in Cambridge and was impressed enough to make this film the topic of the column I'm writing for a newspaper abroad.

Naturally, my readership will not be able to see the movie, because there's no big distribution machine to push it out there.

Matthew Gatheringwater:

March 7, 2004 09:16 AM | Permalink for this comment

Thanks for your review, Philocrites. I saw the film yesterday on the strength of it and I enjoyed myself very much. Most science fiction movies are actually anti-science. This film is more like a speculative documentary about the ways in which science and technology may force us to reconsider what we mean when we use concepts like "natural" or "human." It is the best science fiction movie I've seen since GATTACA and Contact.

Incidentally, I'm thinking about treating myself to an ethics class at the University of Chicago: The Post-Human and the Death of Nature. Robot Stories has really whet my appetite for the class.

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