A.I. Artificial Intelligence

2001

Stanley Kubrick handed A.I. Artificial Intelligence to Steven Spielberg in 1995 after decades of development. When Kubrick died in 1999, Spielberg began production on this sci-fi drama about a boy robot in 2104 who is programmed to love. After a few starts and stops, the film was finally released in 2001.

The reception was not unlike the film itself: a strange mix of cool and warm. The amalgamation of Kubrick’s head and Spielberg’s heart was, and is, more fascinating than it is entertaining or enlightening. Still, the most curious aspect of the picture is Spielberg’s screenplay.

The script remained close to a treatment written by Ian Watson (who is credited for story), but Spielberg got a solo screenplay credit—his first since Close Encounters in 1977. And while it's unfortunate that Spielberg cut down on the amount of robot-human sex, we’re still treated to decidedly un-Spielbergian sexual whimsy.

It is, however, worth noting Spielberg did not include lover-bots in his subsequent futuristic sci-fi film, Minority Report (set in 2054). That means if you’re reading this, you’re probably not going to experience robot love in your lifetime. Sorry.

Past Recommended Showtimes

Cleveland Cinematheque
October 28, 2011