Ex Machina

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When Caleb wins a trip to meet the charismatic founder of the world’s largest search engine, he’s delighted that said celebrity — Nathan — has an ulterior motive:  to introduce Caleb to the AI he’s been developing, ostensibly to see if Ava (the artificially intelligent being) can pass the Turing Test).  Eden and The Fall figure dramatically into this taut suspenseful drama, but the metaphor of “the future” which sci fi always uses to talk about our poignant present problems is a thin mask for this critique of hypermasculine aggression and misogyny not only in the tech industry, but in the deep structures of civilization.  While the third act left me ambivalent, it also haunted me for days afterward; Ex Machina super-flunks the Bechdel test, but it also critiques the male gaze in both formal and revolting ways that include winking (and damning) references to internet sex habits, third wave feminism and the cranes that lowered Zeus onto the dramatic stage at the end of dramas with unresolvable conundrums to assure the audience that all is not lost.

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About andrewerudd

storyguru, sensualist, theoryhead
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