Artificial Humans in the Cinema

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Artificial Humans in the Cinema. A film series from the Film Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 19 May-21 June 2000. "[D]erived from a major millennial retrospective presented at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2000" and "programmed by Ian Birnie in collaboration with Wolfgang Jacobsen and Martin Koerber of the Filmmusuem Berlin-Deutsche Kinemathek."

The series's goal was showing "films that exemplify the theme [… of] "Artificial Humans. Manic Machines. Controlled Bodies." According to their handout, "Underlying the thesis of the series are the two pillars of the artificial human genre: the mad scientist who challenges the natural order by playing god; and the utopian vision of a society populated by supermen whose superior strength and intelligence are machinelike in their 'perfection.' Monster or robot? Eugenics or electronics? Whatever the means, the utopian dream gives birth to dystopia and paranoia—a machine that cannot be controlled, a society that cannot think or act freely, a monster that science can creat but cannot control." Films shown include DER GOLEM (1920), FRANKENSTEIN (1931), BLADE RUNNER, METROPOLIS, THE AUTOMATIC MOTORIST, THE CLOCKWORK HEART, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERs, DEMON SEED (film), TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, ROBOCOP (1987), WESTWORLD.

(JoeK/RDE, 20/VIII/00)