Ex Machina

GoMovieReviews Rating:
Ex MachinaDirected and Written by: Alex (you got some problems buddy) Garland

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson,Oscar Isaac

I wouldn’t recommend it.

Aside from the fact it was boring as hell (the 2 glasses of wine I had beforehand did not liven things up), the plot, I gathered, was that women were machines. There were no male machines. And yes, spoiler alert, Ava, the woman machine won. But not after taking bits and pieces from all the other women machines.

The film left me wondering what the writer thought of women. I very rarely react like this to films, but it seemed to me that the writer really had issues. The plot was basically: I am a woman. I will manipulate you to escape. I will steal from other women. Then, and only then, can I be free. There is no twist. No thought provoking moment. Ex Machina is a cold and calculating film.

I’m not one for cheese, but this film really didn’t resonate, even on a techie level. The philosophy of manipulate and take didn’t ring true to me. Yes, I guess that’s what machines with AI may be in the future but what does that say about women? About what men think of women? It’s a dog eat dog world out there… I guess…?

Look, I’ll say the machines looked realistic. The acting, well, the most rounded character was Nathan, the creator who used the machines in the first place. Caleb, the character who came to assist Nathan, didn’t show any humanity at all. At one point I thought he was going to turn out to be the male machine! That would have been a twist! But no…

I liked Nathan because at least he drank, and would exercise to work the alcohol off. I can relate to that. But the relationship between man and machine was never really clarified. The machines won by reflecting who they imagine women to be. Leaving the men behind and the other machines smiling as pieces are taken from them for the greater good of the machine, Ava. I found this to be shallow, cold and calculating. I’m guessing the premise was to relate to the AI and it didn’t happen for me. Therefore, I felt no joy when the machine succeeded. And how is the machine going to survive without maintenance? By killing the creator, how does the machine survive? I found there were a lot of unanswered questions for a SciFi.

As I said: dog eat dog ‘til the battery (or booze) runs out!

 

Clouds of Sils Maria

GoMovieReviews Rating:
Clouds_of_Sils_Maria_film_posterWritten and Directed by: Olivier Assayas

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kirsten Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz

Maria, made famous in her youth by acting in a play, Maloja Snake, is on her way to accept an award for the playwright Wilhelm Melchior.

Previously playing the part of Sigrid, a young girl who callously uses and dumps an older woman, Maria is now asked to play in the film again, but this time as the older woman. She reluctantly agrees, and her assistant, Valentine, moves with her to Sils Maria to rehearse the part.

What struck me first in this film was the dialogue and ideas the script portrays. A script within a script gives a complexity to the relationship between the main character, Maria Enders played by Juliette Binoche and Valentine (Kirsten Stewart).

Two great characters of two different ages interacting via the dialogue of the script that inevitably becomes blurred. But the strength of the protagonist, Maria, overcomes the power of the script and shows her true character. That as an actress, she may age but as a person, she can always learn; she can be timeless no matter the chaos of the world and the opinions of those who surround her.

The film was a success because of the wonderful acting. I believed every character. Even the fakely nice, JoAnn Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz), the young American actress cast to play the role of Sigrid. I believed she was fake.

The cloud shifting, drifting through the pass of the mountains, the snake, is a beautiful scenic devise to demonstrate the ever changing journey of the characters, and yet, the core, the mountains, remaining the same.

The film was shot on location at Sils Maria, Switzerland and also Zurich, Leipzig, Germany and South Tyrol, Italy.

Beautiful scenery always makes it worth the while to see on the big screen. And the two films of the same scene (one from many years previous compared to the current) is another devise to show the two generations: the snake of cloud flowing through the pass of life that we all follow. The opinion of others may blow as wind on a cloud, but the core of our personality guides us through the mountainous pass of our lives.

Sorry about the cheese, but I was quite affected by this film.

I liked this film. I liked the characters. There is a real depth and authenticity of feeling, of personality.

You can allow the drift of cloud, to fall, to run over us, but the mountain and the path remains the same.

Having a different opinion to others is not a bad thing. We all view the same object or story differently, depending on our age and life experience. The film highlights the difficulty of remaining impassive to others and yet taking a view of oneself in order to know ourselves a little better. Sometimes, others will congratulate this independence and sometimes, people will leave us.