Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Movie Club #15: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Prince of Darkness

0:00 - 2:05 -- Intro/Roll Call
2:05 - 1:06:55 -- A.I.
1:06:55 - 1:56:00 -- Prince of Darkness
1:56:00 - 1:58:09 -- Next Month/Outro

» Download MP3 (81 MB)

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, William Hurt, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Prince of Darkness (1987)
Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, ALICE COOPER(!)


Goon said...

I rewatched AI today before listening to the show.

I like AI, but have things to pick on as well, just not the usual stuff.

I dont have any complaints about the first hour at home, I think their actions fit their mindset, and think Kurt's nitpicks don't really make sense to me. The butcher knife? Ever been to a big party? I have, kids get left alone and shit happens.

To me the real problems with the movie are in the latter end of the NYC sequence, with the monologue about what David means to the company/future, the bullshit about implanting cryptic clues to Dr. Know, and then the ridiculousness with the fish carrying David around underwater. Also that he really got trapped in the first place, that they didnt go looking for him.

The 'future' isn't perfect either but I always felt this section has been misread beyond the 'aliens/robots' crap. People have insisted this section is sentimental and typical Spielberg but I just don't agree, I think it's far more ambigious. Spielberg has the challenge early in the film of expressing the mothers attachment to David while still making the point that it's creepy and weird, and I think its subtly successful. In the future it's more nuanced but its still very much there to me.

It's in the language: "David thought he was having the best day of his life" rather than "David had the best day...", its in the way the robots watch over them through their screen and read his mind, its in the way they construct the fairy to speak to him, its in the way the mother is created in an instant after the one robot has their little talk - I think its implied they're fucking with David, they have to give him what he wants so they can proceed with their research, that the 'reanimation' of the mother is not what it seems.

And either way she's still not going to live, so the whole thing is tragic anyways, David will never stop needing her and she'll still be gone. To me the whole thing is very ominous, and it's something that's in the whole movie, from the creepiness of David's adjustment to the family, to his violent outbursts in NYC, to watching his Fairy shatter before him, etc - this kid ain't sugar and sweetness.

I don't think Spielberg handled it as well as he could have, but I think he isn't given as much credit as he's due, that what he did in AI is looked at through a prejudgmental, cynical lens

Goon said...

re: the kid being the 'monster' - I agree with Andrew, he's jealous and testing. As for why parents may not notice the butcher knife, these kids are their little angels and they dont think they'd do such things

tracey Wilson said...

I am neither a Carpenter fan nor a horror movie fan, but I enjoyed "Prince of Darkness." Yes, the first half is slow, but I love the main character, the time travel element and the decision she makes at the end of the movie. Totally creeped me out, thinking of her in there forever. Plus, hello, Alice Cooper? :)

Rusty James said...

goldfarb said...

you're right aboutthe ending of A.I. in fact the future stuff with the advanced robots etc is not due to Spielberg's sentimentality but from Kubrick's scripts/notes/development of the film - see the Kubrick Archives from TASCHEN.

Goon said...

good lord how is Jonnny 5 staying afloat in that pic

AI does actually have a moment involving religion, Kurt, where they are in front of the church in Rouge City and Joe explains that humans are also looking for their makers, and that he gets business from people coming out all the time.

In other words, they go in looking, come out disappointed and find that other temporary solution. I think its an interesting parallel, that while all David wants to be is human, for the humans themselves, they are also looking to move up a level to something else, and when they cant get it they get Joe to treat them like a god... in bed. I think Joe literally calls that woman in his first scene a 'goddess'

Kurt Halfyard said...

Good Point Goon. While that implies that someone is at least searching, but you are right it follows up with the human taking the route of being regarded as a god. And you are very right in that the first scene with Gig.Joe and the girl who hired him, he refers to her as goddess.