When Humans Become Gods

April 21st, 2015

Over the weekend I went to see Ex Machina, the directorial debut from Alex Garland.  He’s most known for writing the screenplay to 28 Days Later and Sunshine.  Other credits to his name are Never Let Me Go and Dredd.  Ex Machina is a scifi film, but not one with action or explosions, a la Chappie or Automata.  This is more Hitchcockian and probably why I enjoyed it so much.

The story follows a young programmer Caleb(Domhnall Gleeson) who works for a large search engine company.  After “winning” a contest, he gets to spend a week at the estate of the companies owner and founder Nathan(Oscar Isaac).  When he arrives he soon realizes the real reason he is there is to test an AI named Ava that  Nathan has been developing.  The film is divided into 7 sessions where both Caleb and Ava are asking questions about one another, much like a police interrogation.  I won’t say much, but as the film progresses you see Caleb begin to have feelings for Ava and vice versa.  You’ll ask yourself  is Caleb a machine brought into test another machine?  Then you begin to wonder if everyone in the film is a machine?  The film makes you question a lot of things, but not too heavy on the philosophical side.  I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to spoil film(don’t read the wikipedia article), but very rarely does a science fiction come along that is smart, visually striking and enjoyable.

A side note about the look of the film.  It was filmed at a Hotel in Norway which looks like the filmmakers picked out of an issue Dwell magazine.  So if your an architect buff than you will also enjoy this film.  The clip below is from a funny moment in the film.

Eric Graham
Eric Graham was born and raised in Texas. He received his BFA from the University of North Texas in 1998. Shortly thereafter, he relocated to New York to continue his work with the Good/Bad Art Collective. In the summer of 2005, he attended the artist in residence program at the Cooper Union School of Art. In 2006, Eric Graham was accepted into the Bronx Museum of Art, Artist in the Marketplace program and had his first solo show in Philadelphia, at Pentimenti Gallery. In 2013 he received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in the Fine Arts department. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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