Friday, June 17, 2016

"Sunspring" (2016)

The first film made from a script written by “A.I.” is fascinating. But not necessarily for the reasons you might think. This is not an example that will have you preparing for the robot apocalypse.

The script itself is almost unreadable. It is nonsense in the extreme. The “A.I. behind the script is similar to the software on smartphones that “guesses” what you are texting and supplies you with suggested words. The creators fed that software with every single sci-fi script they could get their hands on and then asked it to write a script. Those who have used smartphone text suggestion software will not be surprised with the results.

But the reason the film is so amazing is that it shows the creativity and ability of the human mind to convey meaning to such nonsense. The choices made by the directors and the job done by the actors is astounding to watch. For example, when the script says, “he takes his eyes out of his mouth”; they took that nonsense and turned it into an ominous and intriguing clue into the sci-fi culture and future in which the story takes place. It is still silly, but raises questions. And the actors deliver the nonsensical dialogue with a sense of meaning that almost comes through. The monologue at the end of the film is especially moving, not because the actress is saying anything that conveys any meaning, but because she emotes in reaction to the words.

“Sunspring” is not a big step forward for A.I. But it is a testament to the creativity of humanity and the continuing dependence of machines on mankind for meaning and purpose.

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