Sunday, March 07, 2004

I saw a new movie today called Robot Stories, which is really four short stories all themed around robots. Some of the stories are SF, some aren't, but the SF is thoughtful, even philosophical, exploring aspects of ordinary human life that are relevant now, not just in some extreme (and unlikely) scenario for the future. In other words, writer/director Greg Pak & Co. use these robots as fresh tools for looking at age-old themes, and the four stories are presented in an interesting cycle of life: having a baby, raising a child, life at work, and the meaning/nature of death. The stories are told in a dramatic style but are often comic, and the director maintains a light touch throughout. (In other words, this is nothing like A.I., a movie I love but which I know many disliked for its heavy melodrama.) The stories kept surprising me, as plot twists revealed more about character (a real rarity for SF). The film would make a great choice for a film discussion group or in a college class

My personal favorite was the second story, The Robot Fixer, which is essentially about a mother-son relationship and, of all things, toy robots. First of all, I could relate: I was 6 when I first saw Star Wars in '77 and my boyhood was filled with toy robots. But, even more, I was touched by the character of the mother, played so well by Wai Ching Ho--but I don't want to say too much. Just do yourself a favor and see this film.

It's always exciting to have a little independent film to root for! Especially when you know it could speak to a wide audience.



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