Monday, June 10, 2013

robot love, part ii

Spike Jonze made a short film a few years back, but I've only just heard about it. Its called I'm Here. Its a science-fiction romance story about robots in love. Jonze didn't go too far on the robotics budget, that's for sure. His robotic lovers are human actors with bad Hallowe'en costumes, and what looks like old PC towers on their heads. But what really comes across--shines through the crummy costuming, you could say--is the personalities of the robot characters.

I wrote about robot love a little while ago, after hearing and reading a few things within a short time that all seemed to be focused on this as a future we need to be prepared for. Those stories focused on human-robot relationships rather than the robot-on-robot action in this short film, but the ideas are the same.

Jonze depicts robots at a stage in their development when they've become ubiquitous in society to the point of being ignored, but not to the point of acceptance. The robots in Jonze's portrayal are discriminated against in a heart-breakingly heartless way, by their very insignificance. They are tripped over, stepped on, and broken [accidentally] in their encounters with humans, who don't even turn their heads to acknowledge the damage, never mind apologize. Or help.

Their feelings are portrayed as real, if new, and somewhat adolescent. But that only makes the tale sweet. Tale is the right word, I think. Its a sci fi fairytale of love.

The whole thing is on youtube. Its about 30 minutes long. Check it out.

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