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December 17, 2002

Analysis of A.I.'s ending

Speilberg's A.I. is one of my favourite films, but it got a bad rap for its apparently hokey ending. I've always felt it was a great film (and with one of the most innovative viral marketing campaigns ever, to boot). In particular, I always liked the ending, but I was never sure why. I recently stumbled upon this analysis of the ending of A.I. which provides a great interpretation which fits perfectly into the Kubrickean themes of the film. Now I'll have to go and watch it again.

Posted by jay at December 17, 2002 01:42 PM | TrackBack
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I like a lot of what this reading has to say about the nature of mecha-- but it is a stretch to pronounce that the creatures at the end were highly evolved mecha. This is a textbook "rescuing" of a text by creating an out for the author-- a kind of second-degree Deux ex Machina, or perhaps Mecha ex Machina.

I think in the context of the Spielberg oeuvre, these are clearly aliens. Their physiognomy is nearly the definition of other in Spielberg-- from Close Encounters right through to Taken. I'll join you in watching the movie again-- I loved it and actually saw it in theaters twice-- but I don't feel any need to produce a drastically de-ambiguized reading of the ending to make the movie "tougher." It was fucking tough to begin with-- few films have made me think more (or more deeply) about the nature of creation and its ever-present doppelganger, fallenness. In that sense, the reference to Adam is perhaps at the core of the film: the mecha never get to eat the apple and thus never enjoy the free will that lets humans choose (among other things) not to love a capricious, unknowable god.

Posted by: jay on December 17, 2002 05:43 PM
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