I stayed up pretty late watching ex machina. In a few words or to summarize, the film was a great short story. Were introduced to a small cast of characters whom spend most of their time in isolation and are forced to give not exposition over the course of a week, but gain insight on motives, dreams and the insanity at the results of desperation. I enjoyed the pacing, were quickly introduced to the main protagonist whom is swept into a sweepstakes to spend a week with a brilliant programmer and engineer Nathan whose the head of a giant search engine company. Right away I became envious of the compound, no, home of Nathan secluded in the woods out of immediate sight from civilization.
What wonders could a person accomplish in the silence, the world of knowledge at the tip of your fingertips and limitless resources both physical and mental.
Develop a artificial intelligence to pass a touring test of course. That’s the entirety of the films plot. An eccentric programming genius develops a robot and invites one of his employees to test it out and drink with him over the course of a week separated by “sessions”.
I can only hold ransom the ideas I came up with if this premise existed in a short story.
What I found most thrilling is the complete absence of exposition. Were shown the characters progress over the span of a week, were given small hints in the film before they are immediately glossed over to advance the story. The film exists in a modern world that often times takes for granted some of the gadgetry and existing advancements in technology we see every day.
Putting aside how excited I was to finally see the film, I enjoyed mostly that the characters were completely forgettable actors, in a good way. In most times, I watch a film with the idea and excitement that the person involved is some one that I recognize, some one that I know due to their marketable name. In the past when recognition and fame could carry a subpar film to great financial success I often lost track that the director is attempting to tell me a story.
This is where I have seen my writing suffer as a direct result of trying to hard to make someone easily recognizable and banking on local infamy. The characters who come to mind as of lately are Allison Morte, Amen Phec and Bayard. I am or I was caught up on the aspect of building a world surrounding these characters and allowing who they are shift the core being of their surroundings in ways that are not crucial to the plot.
In ExMachina the amazing invention in Anna is not completely explored with long winded speeches to the audience. Rather, short and extremely small tidbits are sprinkled throughout the film explaining in a matter of seconds who she is and where she has come from over time.
In one of the scenes where Caleb is speaking to Nathan about Anna, they veer into the subject of being mechanically capable of having sex. Over the few minutes of the two discussing what attracts a man to a woman, Nathan says she is in fact capable of reaching an orgasm and having sex.
In the gaze of Caleb, we can see the gears in his head churning, fantasizing the sensations of a anatomically correct android female if the term is correct. Despite the slight twist at the end and the misguided attempt to thwart the man whom you owe your life too, the film ends with a few questions left to ponder.
Not only the home do I envy but I also envy the atmosphere and misdirection of the story pulling us in to a world to briefly explore.
What have I learned in this experience. In the more figurative sense of storytelling from a standpoint of an observer — not a writer. The story is brilliant. I have been missing out on films that have a great atmosphere without drowning me out on exposition. I enjoy the complication of many films, one of my many favorites is a science fiction film primer which explores time travel.
I want to write to this kind of extent. a simple story exploring the idea between two people and a robot. But I believe Philip K. Dick beat me to that idea.