A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
-
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE A.I.
2001 - Steven Spielberg - United States
28

-
In 1982 Stanley Kubrick purchased the rights to Brian Aldiss’s 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 Baker’s 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 Baker’s 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."
-

-