Robots as female fetishes and voodoo dolls

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Eva_Ex_Machina01In a Den of Geek article, filmmaker Alex Garland discussed his latest film, Ex Machina.  He had some interesting things to say about the story and the robotic main character, Ava, that caught my attention:

It’s partly an argument about the objectification of women in a particular way. In this sense, it’s a literal objectification.

Ava’s not actually a woman. She’s a machine that does not have a gender. So the question is, why is she presented as a girl in her early 20s? It’s because we fetishise girls in their early 20s. In a particular kind of way. Sometimes you read about that being shunted onto the media: advertising does it, film does it. It’s bullshit. It’s passing the buck. We all do it. Men do it and women do it. Right?

The reasons we do that are complicated, and I could make guesses as to why it is. But what seems to be beyond debate is that it does actually happen.

Women (in many countries, like the US) intentionally dress, use makeup and style their hair to fetishize themselves, even in socially- and politically-non-sexual situations (like office environments)—even as they demand to be seen as something more than fetish objects—and men, claiming to indeed see women as more than fetish objects, don’t actively discourage women from fetishizing themselves.  And science fiction goes the extra mile:  Objectifying women by robotizing them, as shown in Ex Machina, is as old as the first movies, and has become a rather tired trope of the genre that we cannot get away from, even today. Continue reading

Futura sketch

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futura sketchI love this sketch, the Futura robot from Metropolis.  I think the artist’s name is Chintsiz—or maybe it’s Chints 2012—but if someone knows better, please let me know.

Robots: Tools, slaves and devils

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Parody, the robot from MetropolisDon’t ask me how this works, but my blog stats indicate that one of the ways people have found my blog is through a Google search of the term “sex robat mariya.”  Which, to me, shows how hilarious and fickle search tools can be.

The Maria-impostor robot, or Parody (aka Futura), has always fascinated me.  It may be the most sympathetic character of Metropolis; caught between three tropes that almost universally push peoples’ buttons, the tool, the slave and the imposter. Continue reading

Metropolis: The one that started it all

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metropoliscov_200City of light and spectacle… and of darkness and doom!

The first modern science fiction motion picture! One of the earliest mega-budget films! A marvel of cutting-edge special effects technology! An ageless parable that is as relevant today as it was in 1926!

A masterpiece that, like the Sphynx, exists only in its vandalized and incomplete form today!

The motion picture Metropolis has an incredibly rich history in itself… yet, with its tortured past and highly-debated presentation, it remains as one of the most influential movies of all time. Certainly the format of science fiction films and novels owes much to this pioneer effort. Continue reading