MISE EN ABYME
Metropolis (1927) / Fritz Lang – Germany
Under a future city with high-rise buildings and advanced machinery, there lived a bunch of miserable workers running the gears of the city. One day, a humanoid robot breaks loose while current governmental leaders neglect the impending danger. Metropolis (1927) is ahead of its time when it comes to production design and narrative screenplay. With expressionistic and surrealist portrayal of social issues, Fritz Lang’s magnum opus is celebrated and continuously restored as a cultural legacy.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) / Stanley Kubrick – Britain & US
Astronaut Bowman and Poole are on a mission to explore a mysterious artifact in space that causes interstellar disturbances. On their way, they are perplexed by capricious errors and mortal sentiments displayed by HAL-9000, a “foolproof and incapable of error” computer programmed to assist the mission. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) does not only define Stanley Kubrick’s prodigy of a film director—it also defines 20th century’s zeitgeist. It is a philosophical paragon of human’s exploration, paradox of evolution, and dystopian relationship between men and Artificial Intelligence.
Inception (2010) / Christopher Nolan – Britain & US
In an alternate universe, Dom Cobb and Arthur work as military espionage that uses experimental technology to beat enemies through dreams and subconscious. Trapped in seemingly endless layer of “shared dream world”, Dom realizes he must survive not only for the mission, but for the safety of his loved one too. Inception (2010) is a fine mixture of physical science and psychological mysticism, exhibiting complex emotions and layered realism at the same time. Just like his other films, Inception is Christopher Nolan’s way to ask the viewers to reconsider our subliminal tendency to escape and distort reality.
Her (2013) / Spike Jonze –US
A psychologically disturbed man finds comfort and joy through conversations with personalized Operating System called Samantha. Her is a film that tells a story about urban loneliness in the age of advanced technology. Although Her (2013) is considerably a new film, it presents a classic dilemma of Artificial Intelligence issue—a cutting edge computer that develops and sparks emotions on humans. This Spike Jonze’s screenwriting debut is one of the must-watch films that embrace pop culture and technology.