‘A.I. Tales’ Is A Haunting Vision of the Future

Made up of four short films relating to artificial intelligence, A.I. Tales is a film of haunting beauty and sadness. The four stories are presented without a linking narrative, but each takes place in the near future.

Our first story is Nelson Lee’s Seed, with Nathan (Lee) celebrating his 40th birthday with his friends and son. It’s initially a joyful occasion, but it soon turns melancholy. Nathan seems on the verge of a big decision. It seems as though the resources of the planet are depleted, and life-or-death sacrifices must be made. This is both a sweet and sad film, beautifully acted and thought provoking.

The second film, directed by Kristin Hilkert, is In/Finite, the story of Jane (Ashlee Mundy), a doctor secretly joining a Mars One program. One of the stipulations of the program is that she will not be allowed contact with her family. This is very much a film about the human attachments we make, and how we are both drawn to and feel the need to escape those attachments.

Director Amir Reichart’s Phoenix 9 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world stripped bare by centuries of greed and overconsumption. A group of seven people are traveling to a colony where it is rumored that there are other survivors. The film manages to convey the warmth and humanity of a group clinging to shreds of hope in desperate times. But desire and salvation sometimes comes with a price.

The final film is called Redux and was directed by Vitaly Verlov. It stars Russell Bradley Fenton and features Eric Roberts. It’s a very short film with the premise of a scientist barricading himself in an underground laboratory and desperately sending messages through time. Meanwhile, a S.W.A.T. Team outside moves in on his location and threatens to get inside before his work can be completed. Despite its short length, the short is so brilliantly filmed that not one second seems wasted. This was certainly my favorite of the four.

These were four very different images of the future in A. I. Tales, each one linked by a common thread of technology. But what also links the films is a unifying sense of the humanity within us all, the need to reach beyond technology to connect with another human soul. A.I. Tales is must see sci-fi film.

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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