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Mechanical humanity, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the android: the posthuman subject in "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Artificial Intelligence: A.I"


Loren, Scott (2008). Mechanical humanity, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the android: the posthuman subject in "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Artificial Intelligence: A.I". In: Rhodes, Gary. Stanley Kubrick: essays on his films and legacy. North Carolina: McFarland and Co, 211-231.

Abstract

In the mid-1990s, Stanley Kubrick contacted Steven Spielberg with an idea for a project he had been working on for several years. The script was based on Brian Aldiss's short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," which Kubrick bought the rights to in 1983, three years after the release of The Shining, and 15 years after the release of the film it was thematically much closer to: 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on Arthur C. Clarke's “The Sentinel.” "Supertoys" is a story about artificial intelligence and, as in 2001, about how artificially intelligent machines and humans interact. There were various impediments, though, that kept Kubrick from making this film. For one, the story revolves around an artificial boy, and British law made it prohibitive to work for the prolonged periods of time with a child actor that Kubrick would have required. And he was not willing to make the film elsewhere. After failed attempts to construct a robot that would satisfactorily take the place of the child actor, and although Kubrick had invested years of work in the project, for which he already had a script and hundreds of storyboards, he offered it to Spielberg, and proposed that he produce it while Spielberg directed it. According to Spielberg and longtime Kubrick producer Jan Harlan, Kubrick offered Spielberg the project as opposed to shelving it because he felt that Spielberg had the right sensibilities for this story. Spielberg was hesitant, though, and it wasn't until after Kubrick's death, when his wife, Christiane, contacted Spielberg and renewed the offer, that Spielberg took over A.I. and made it his own. As Harlan has suggested in interviews, A.I. is clearly a Spielberg film, and would have been much darker had Kubrick filmed it. Still, we can see traces of Kubrick at work in A.I.

Abstract

In the mid-1990s, Stanley Kubrick contacted Steven Spielberg with an idea for a project he had been working on for several years. The script was based on Brian Aldiss's short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," which Kubrick bought the rights to in 1983, three years after the release of The Shining, and 15 years after the release of the film it was thematically much closer to: 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on Arthur C. Clarke's “The Sentinel.” "Supertoys" is a story about artificial intelligence and, as in 2001, about how artificially intelligent machines and humans interact. There were various impediments, though, that kept Kubrick from making this film. For one, the story revolves around an artificial boy, and British law made it prohibitive to work for the prolonged periods of time with a child actor that Kubrick would have required. And he was not willing to make the film elsewhere. After failed attempts to construct a robot that would satisfactorily take the place of the child actor, and although Kubrick had invested years of work in the project, for which he already had a script and hundreds of storyboards, he offered it to Spielberg, and proposed that he produce it while Spielberg directed it. According to Spielberg and longtime Kubrick producer Jan Harlan, Kubrick offered Spielberg the project as opposed to shelving it because he felt that Spielberg had the right sensibilities for this story. Spielberg was hesitant, though, and it wasn't until after Kubrick's death, when his wife, Christiane, contacted Spielberg and renewed the offer, that Spielberg took over A.I. and made it his own. As Harlan has suggested in interviews, A.I. is clearly a Spielberg film, and would have been much darker had Kubrick filmed it. Still, we can see traces of Kubrick at work in A.I.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords:cyborg, posthuman, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, AI, 2001 a space odyssey
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:10 Sep 2018 09:06
Last Modified:17 May 2019 12:15
Publisher:McFarland and Co
ISBN:978-0-7864-3297-4
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/41284/ (Organisation)
https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/stanley-kubrick-2/ (Publisher)

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