Thursday, June 04, 2009

Another film on my radar




Somehow, the development of The Surrogates slipped by me. But I must admit that I am more than intrigued. So, why the interest in this film on a God-talk blog?

For one, the film's premise itself is interesting (via Wikipedia):

In the near future, humans live in isolation and only interact through robotic bodies that serve as surrogates. When several humans are murdered when their surrogates are destroyed, a cop (Bruce Willis) investigates the crimes through his own surrogate. After a near fatal encounter, the cop's surrogate is destroyed and forces him to bring his human form out of isolation and unravel a conspiracy behind the crimes.

And stories like that are rich ground to explore all sorts of interesting themes—like what makes us human, the nature of reality, how technological tools can be used for good and evil (which Robert Venditti—the author of the graphic novel from which the film was adapted—touches on in this interview), and the relationship between technology and wealth and the illusion that they can protect us from the reality of death, suffering and darkness. It also touches on our own relationship with and participation in online communities and virtual realities—from MMORPGs to forums and boards where we can create our own identities and personas. Interestingly, Venditti says (according to Wikipedia) that he developed the idea for his graphic novel “after reading about numerous individuals who lost their spouses or their jobs due their addiction to the internet and their online personas.” And explorations like these and themes like those above have great potential to bring God-talk into open spaces.

In addition, there may be some more overt God-talk in the story as well. Along the way, Harvey Greer's (Willis) investigation will lead him to cross paths with The Prophet (Ving Rames), an anti-surrogate activist—who’s character apparently has definite religious overtones in the graphic novel. At Comicscape, Kurt Amacker describes the graphic novel character as “a radical Christian prophet” who is somewhat ambiguous when it comes to whether he’s a good or bad guy. I haven’t read the graphic novel yet (I’m waiting for it arrive via snail mail), so I can’t say how religion or faith plays into this character or the story—yet, heh.

For what it’s worth, there’s an early review of the film at Latino (hat tip i09) and here’s another article about the graphic novel at Comic Book Resoures. And, if you dare, choose your own surrogate, heh.

4 comments:

Ken Brown said...

I'd missed this as well--it looks very interesting!

Carmen Andres said...

i don't get why this isn't getting more press, hmmm....

elrambo said...

I read this post and sat here for a minute thinking, "Why do I feel like I've read a book this is based on?" Then I remembered it was this passage from That Hideous Strength by Lewis:
"[Merlin asked] 'Who is called Sulva? What road does she walk? Why is the womb barren on one side? Where are the cold marriages?'
"Ransom replied, 'Sulva is she whom mortals call the Moon....There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty (delicati) in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place'" (273-74).

Already been done!

Carmen Andres said...

good call! wow, i missed that one completely, heh.