The greatest projectors are equipped with cutting-edge technology, resulting in a viewing experience that is a thousand times more enjoyable. With a brand-new projector, what better subject to view than a movie on technology?
Clarifying what exactly I was rating was the most difficult part of making this list for my purposes. The number of films that either tell a story about technology or are filled with references to it is mind-boggling. Is this a problem with technology or with the environment? And so forth. After a slew of alterations, I finally settled on movies whose plots and characters were inextricably linked to the technology they showcased. Then, as usual, it’s a matter of balancing each other out.
There are only ten seats at the most dreaded table in the high school cafeteria, so many movies have gathered there. Others, enraged by my rejection, have sent me emails like this gem from The Truman Show: “Your mother doesn’t even love you. ” She is not your mother. Fucker.” So what? We Live in Public is a classier loser, with Back to the Future, The Day Earth Stood Still (1951), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ghost in the Shell, The Iron Giant, Primer, Terminator (I presume one and two), and We Live in Public among the more snobby. Minority Report and Dark City would surely have made the cut if this list focused solely on the visual effects and special effects used in the films. Both films suffer from a number of serious flaws as films. There’s still time to go!
Akira or Ghost in the Shell are two of the most difficult films to choose from on this list. The warnings in Ghost in the Shell are more direct. But Akira, an epic manga adaptation, has proved to be the most significant film. Its dystopian, dynamic, and weirdly synchronic metropolis, Ohtomo, demonstrates to us the dangers of potential-expanding, invasive technology.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
An uncanny combination of Spielberg and Kubrick, as well as Haley Joel Osment’s portrayal of the character, make for an unnerving experience. Kubrick waited decades to make the picture because he wanted Osment’s role, David, to be performed by an animatronic. It’s enough to make you shiver. As a whole, the final product isn’t quite as polished as it should be, but it’s still full with moments that are both terrifying and heartbreaking.
Blade Runner (1982)
Scott’s sci-fi classic was an archetypal mindflayer because it warped what it meant to be human in the most blatant way possible. How do we know who we are? What are the parameters of this concept? This is a noir that comes from the ground up. There is a frenzy in this dirty, crowded metropolis. Replicants, or rogue androids, have taken over a spacecraft and are on a mission to find their creator. They’ve been acting strangely. What can we do with a machine that is intentionally unpredictable? We’re left with no monsters or heroes as Deckard pursues them, and their identities dissipate as a result. So, what are we going to call them?
The Social Network (2010),
Do you think the movie is underrated? What should have been the winning film in the Academy Award race? Everything about being has been well-executed from start to finish. The screenplay by Aaron Sorkin is sharp and witty, the direction by David Fincher is dark and sultry, and Jesse Eisenberg gives a performance that he is unlikely to top. “It’s about us,” says the narrator, referring to the 20-something modern Kane who has an uncanny ability to see the future and a sarcastic sense of humor. That’s what we imagine. What’s with all the irony, you ask? In a way, the movie mocks us. It ends with the words “good luck” instead. As a result, we appreciate it.
The Conversation (1974)
Is there a better decade in filmmaking history than the 1970s for Francis Ford Coppola? Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Parts 1 & 2, and The Godfather Part III And this, his first Cannes Grand Prix success, gets overlooked. As Coppola’s most foreboding portrayal of the technology age’s charade of privacy, The Conversation was a stunning success. If more people had seen this film, or the powerfully melodramatic German version, The Lives of Others, what would the public dialogue be like today?
WALL-E or The Iron Giant was the second most difficult choice to make on this list. In both films, technology plays a central role as a character. The ascent continued once it reached WALL-E. In this post-apocalyptic family drama, Pixar did something incredible: it started out with only two characters, both of whom spoke only in various pronunciations of their names, foregoing any real dialogue for well over half the film, and made arguably their most endearing, simplistically rich film to date. Pixar did something incredible with this family drama. The icing on top of Stanton and crew’s genius is their ability to tell a story about environmental stewardship and accountability.
There is nothing quite like the retro-dystopic film from Monty Python guy to fill the delightfully zany void left by most films of this ilk. Replying to the cliché that technology makes things simpler by making them more complicated. Temptations and fancies abound, yet neither satisfaction nor clarity are to be found. Things have gotten a little muddled in this day and age. Gilliam serves as a strange wake-up call and a reminder of the thin line we all walk on.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Many apocalyptic movies from the Cold War era are available. Most characters in Strangelove are about as powerful as POTUS Merkin Muffley after watching the film. Those men who have and continue to obliviously tug the strings of nuclear dread in society are mauled in Kubrick’s stinging romp. Technology captivated and exhausted Kubrick. Some have seen the film as Kubrick’s opus against modern devastation, while others have interpreted it as a sarcastic rejection of modern destruction’s terror. The beauty of it is that it encompasses the best of both worlds. Black comedy at its finest, and a deceptively contemplative sketch about civilization, its technology, and their coupled trappings. Almost came in second place.
Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, which might be considered the spiritual grandfather of modern science fiction films like A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès, is still as spellbinding and important now as it must have been 86 years ago. In the beginning, the film’s themes of class are clear, but as you see it again and again, you begin to grasp the human condition and search for the compassion inside it. In terms of aesthetics, it’s in the same league as the best of the old school. Oh, how I love this music. You should not pass up the opportunity to see the picture accompanied by any kind of accompaniment (Roger Ebert previously described the growing transcendence of a viewing scored by a washboard-type ensemble).
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
This is the only film that may possibly be the best of all time. Sorry for the lack of excitement. Simply: Top 10 finest, most ambitious and important films in the history of filmmaking. There has been no shortage of films that have dealt with technology’s impact on human life. In 2001, it’s all documented. The most striking aspect of this approach is that it sees technology not as a luxury but as an essential part of human life. As bone is an appendage in the same way that an arm, a leg, or even a spacecraft is an appendage. What will happen if that appendage becomes aware? Why shouldn’t it have happened when we did? Symbiosis is still possible, right? What can we expect? It’s hard to comprehend these complexities at all. A naive artist thinks they can figure out how to open the bottle or guess at the answers. Potential, onward momentum, and infinity can only be expressed by a master or genius. Not where we go matters. Because we are going and are aware that we are doing so. Stanley Kubrick, more than any other filmmaker in history, clung to this ideal.