1982 Stanley Kubrick purchased the rights to Brian Aldisss
short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long. After finishing
Full Metal Jacket Kubrick began to work on Artificial Intelligence
A.I. as his next film. Kubrick was not satisfied with the
initial script he was working on with Bob Shaw and Ian Watson.
In 1994, he completed a partial script (with Chris Bakers
drawings) and began on the pre-production. However, Kubrick
decided to postpone A.I. in hopes computer technology would
improve. In 1995 he then began working on Eyes Wide Shut with
A.I. to be his next film. After his death in 1999, Steven
Spielberg wrote his own version based on much of Kubrick and
Bakers existing material. This particular film is Spielberg's
(as he changed much of the script- notably with the Gigilo
Joe character), but ultimately it is just as much a Stanley
Kubrick film. Would it have been better had Kubrick directed
it? That question will forever remain unknown, but it's really
not that important. However, what is known is the work that
has been made, and to me it is a masterpiece collaboration
of both Kubrick's and Spielberg's visions (which is surprising
considering it deals mostly with Kubrick-esque dark and disturbing
examinations of the differences between human and non-human).
I personally believe it stands among the very greatest films
ever made and both Kubrick and Spielberg deserve equal praise.Though
influences are evident, in many ways these two filmmakers
have contrasting styles which, when combined, seem to really
work within the themes of this film. I think A.I. was a very
personal and important film to Kubrick, and he even thought
much of it was more suitable for Spielberg. I believe Spielberg
was very respectful of Kubrick's idea, and yet he still managed
to express his own personal vision into the film. What results
if a masterpiece of cinema that will stand the test of time
and be recognized among the great achievements of filmmaking.
Spielberg handles the subject matter perfectly. From the opening
narration (one of many Kubrick homages?), the viewer is presented
with a dark and chilling mood of a (artificially) secure futuristic
atmosphere. It's an extremely intense and rare film that dares
to be bold. We are shown humanity as a minor piece of something
greater, life is simply a state of mind. Among other questions,
AI asks: What makes the human race the ultimate value of emotions
and awareness? If it's humans who create these computer programs
and robots to act and react as humans, what determines the
difference amongst them? Originally I thought the ending was
a sappy cop-out, but have come to understand it's brilliance.
It's perfect! Sure it's sentimental at it's surface, but yet
underneath remains a dark, haunting, and meaningful depth.
It is really very sad. Like Pinocchio, David has a dream.
The dream comes true, but not from the world which created
him. The ending also represents technology as humans savior
(humans create mechas, now mechas create humans). David is
the key to human savior; a mecha that is human. AI is a masterfully
crafted, emotionally engaging, visually stunning, and ultimately
thought-provoking film experience that will stay in the viewers
mind long after watching. It will surely be recognized, discussed,
and praised as a classic over time. "I am. I was."