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adaptation a.i. (artificial intelligence)
synopsis It is a time when natural resources are limited and technology is advancing at an astronomical pace. Where you live is monitored; what you eat is engineered; and the person serving you is not a person at all. It's artificial. Gardening, housekeeping, companionship -- there is a robot for every need. Except love.all creatures metal and mechanical
Emotion is the last, controversial frontier in robot evolution. Robots are seen as sophisticated appliances; they're not supposed to have feelings. But with so many parents not yet approved to have children, the possibilities abound.
And Cybertronics Manufacturing has created the solution.
His name is David (HALEY JOEL OSMENT).
A robotic boy, the first programmed to love, David is adopted as a test case by a Cybertronics employee (SAM ROBARDS) and his wife (FRANCES O'CONNOR), whose own terminally ill child has been cryogenically frozen until a cure can be found. Though he gradually becomes their child, with all the love and stewardship that entails, a series of unexpected circumstances make this life impossible for David.
Without final acceptance by humans or machines, and armed only with Teddy, his supertoy teddy bear and protector, David embarks on a journey to discover where he truly belongs, uncovering a world in which the line between robot and machine is both terrifyingly vast and profoundly thin.
Warner Bros. Pictures and DreamWorks present an Amblin/Stanley Kubrick production of a Steven Spielberg film, "A.I." starring Haley Joel Osment ("The Sixth Sense"), Jude Law ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"), Frances O'Connor ("Mansfield Park," the upcoming "Windtalkers"), Sam Robards ("American Beauty"), Brendan Gleeson ("Mission: Impossible II") and William Hurt ("One True Thing"). Directed by Steven Spielberg, "A.I." is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, and Bonnie Curtis. The screenplay, written by Spielberg, is based on a screen story by Ian Watson and the short story by acclaimed science fiction writer Brian Aldiss. Jan Harlan, Stanley Kubrick's longtime executive producer, and Walter F. Parkes are the executive producers.
The distinguished behind-the-scenes team is led by the highly respected, Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski ("Schindler's List"), three-time Oscar-winning editor Michael Kahn ("Saving Private Ryan"), Oscar-nominated production designer Rick Carter ("Cast Away") and Oscar-nominated costume designer Bob Ringwood ("Empire of the Sun"). Multiple Oscar winner John Williams ("Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace") composed the score.
Joining with Spielberg in creating the futuristic worlds of "A.I." are some of the most celebrated effects artists working today. The creature/makeup effects were created by Stan Winston, whose filmography includes some of the most ambitious and complex effects films of all time. Visual effects visionary Dennis Muren and Scott Farrar of Industrial Light & Magic supervised the film's groundbreaking visual effects. Michael Lantieri coordinated the practical effects. And Christopher Baker provided conceptual art.
It is interesting to note that Steven Spielberg was the 1st recipient of the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Filmmaking by the British Academy of Film & Television in 2000.
By Daniel E. Dercksen
The future began more than 70 years ago when artificial human beings first made their debut in Germany with Fritz Lang's classic film Metropolis.labour of love
In Thea von Harbou's 1927 Metropolis an inventor discovered a way to make artificial human beings. It was a spark that ignited the imagination of audiences worldwide, causing a trend that was rekindled last year with the brilliant Bicentennial Man, and bursts onto our screens this year with the eagerly awaited Spielberg vehicle A.I (Artificial Intelligence) - the dream project of the late Stanley Kubrick.
Metropolis caused quite a sensation during the silent era when a female robot preached destruction and caused workers to destroy the machinery that controlled the city. This was followed by a more lovable and adorable Tin Man in the musical The Wizard of Oz, when robots got a voice at the beginning of the talkies.
Robot mania only surfaced again in the 60s in Dr. Who and the Daleks, an early predecessor of 'Terminator', focusing on a group of people who find themselves trapped in an all-metal city where there's a war between the human and robots.
During the 70s Michael Crichton's fertile imagination gave us Westworld , set in a futuristic holiday resort, where war was waged against rebellious Roman, medieval and Western robots (this was the first draft of what later evolved into the Jurassic Park phenomenon.)
It was also during this time that one of Woody Allen's first comedies saw Allen playing Diane Keaton's robot in Sleeper.
Other artificial human beings during the 70s were The Stepford Wives, who were programmed by their husbands; and in Demon Seed a computer system perpetuated itself in human form and rapes a woman, who then gives birth to its child.
The late 70s saw the birth of the Alien saga, in which Sigourney Weaver not only learns that "In Space No One Can Hear You Scream", but develops a hatred towards androids.
At the beginning of the 80s, three master filmmakers tackled the subject matter and wanted to place their individual visual visionary stamp on the goods.
Ridley Scott created an instant masterpiece with Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford tracked down and killed evil androids - based on Philip K. Dicks' novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - ; James Cameron turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into the ultimate killing machine in The Terminator; and Paul Verhoeven added to the phenomenon with Robocop, introducing a police-robot who had to maintain law and order.
The 80s also saw the comedy Making Mr. Right, with John Malkovich as the scientist and his creation who inherits the capacity to love; Short Circuit featured a Defense Department robot who comes alive; Tilda Swinton played a robot who joined the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Friendship's Death; and Klaus Kinski inhabits a remote space station with Max 404 in Android.
There was only one film of importance during the 90s which contributed to the plight of artificial human beings; James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgement Day. This is the first step towards Bicentennial Man and A. I , focusing on robots with emotions.
What made Terminator 2 different from all other robots, was that he became a role model for the future American hero. "If a machine, a terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can, too," stated the last lines of the film.
In Bicentennial Man, based on Isaac Isimov's novel "The Positronic Man", Robin Williams played a robot who shows a number of human characteristics and wants to become human.
Spielberg's screenplay for A.I is based on a screen story by Ian Watson and acclaimed science fiction writer Brian Arliss' "Supertoys Last All Summer Long". It is a tale of humanity in an age of intelligent machines and focuses on the relationships and challenges involved when a robotic boy (played by Haley Joel Osmond), the first programmed to love, co-exists as a member of a family. After a series of unexpected circumstances leave him without final acceptance by humans or machines, he journeys to discover where he truly belongs.
Now that artificial human being have become 'real' people in 2001, one can only wait to see what the future holds. Who knows, maybe now the time is ripe for humans to become machines.
Review by Daniel E. Dercksen
There is nothing superficial about Steven Spielberg's A.I. In fact, this may be his most personal and authentic film to date.
It is a magical journey into the imagination. This well planned journey gently introduces the audience to the idea of artificial creatures (robots), focusing on the construction of a mechanical child and his placement into a well adjusted family; in the second part of the journey the child pursues his desire to be a real boy and confronts the harsh and brutal reality of a real world, where humans deem robots as a threat; the final destination of the journey takes us to a place where we have never been before.
It is at the end of the journey that the full impact of the journey culminates into an emotional and satisfying absolution. We find answers to the sorry state of the human condition.
Although the film deals with man playing God in creating a perfect form of life on one level, it mostly focuses on an inner journey that universally unites all people: to not only belong to a family, but to be loved for your are, and to make sure that you spend quality time with loved ones.
The film brilliantly explores the oddity of human nature: the fear people have of showing emotion, and being replaced. The lack of emotion or worthlessness exposes a vulnerability that brings to surface a sadness that is unavoidable.
Haley Joel Osmond delivers an astounding performance as David and is well supported by a brilliant cast, especially Frances O'Connor as his mother. The other performance that shines throughout the film Teddy, a teddybear, a supertoy. This wooly creature will most definitely steal your heart.
It is not a commercial venture and does not fall into the same category as "ET", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Jurassic Park", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" or "Hook"; it belongs with "Schindler's List" and "Amistad".
It is a labour of love. A love that ignited more than twenty years ago when Spielberg first met Kubrick. Without this spark there possibly would not have been an Amblin or Dreamworks. That is why Spielberg is not shy to call the film an Amblin/Stanley Kubrick production - and not a Steven Spielberg/ Stanley Kubrick production. He bestows upon his inspiration the highest honour and takes a back seat.
Each frame of the film is clearly Spielberg; his use of lighting to evoke mood; the constant feature of shiny surfaces that reflect the outer world; perfect composition and angles; and his unique way of telling the story through perfectly chosen points of view. He never reveals a secret without first setting it up, then guiding you to the heart of each little secret.
This is the kind film the world needs right now. A film that does rely on cheap sex or unnecessary violence. A film that is not only intelligent but intelligently provokes thought and stimulates the mind.
A film that makes us feel good about ourselves and not ashamed to love.
Making Kubrick's Dream Project a reality for Dreamworks