Thursday, September 24, 2020

Movie with Abe: LX 2048

LX 2048
Directed by Guy Moshe
Released September 25, 2020 (Virtual Cinema and VOD)

Most people spend a staggering amount of time in front of computer screens, and that has only increased recently as many employees must work from home and do so by joining meetings by video. What can result is a need to unplug and disconnect in order to ensure contact with the real world, regardless of the benefits or relaxing entertainment that may be available during other hours on those same devices. As technology continues to evolve and become more creative, the notion that users would be able to immerse themselves in a virtual simulation that feels authentic enough to make them never want to believe becomes all the more possible.

In 2048, the ozone layer has decayed to such a toxic level that it is unhealthy for any human to be outside during the day. Virtual reality provides the opportunity to go about every normal activity from anywhere without any risk to life. One man, Adam Bird (James D’Arcy), chooses to acknowledge his surroundings, journeying to a physical office each day with full protective gear and raising three real children. He resists the prominently-prescribed medication to combat depression, knowing that will numb what he feels, but must face his own mortality when he receives news that he may not have long to live. Aware that he, like most people after death in this time, will be replaced by a clone that will be superior in all ways, Adam must decide what life and identity actually mean to him.

This film has a number of concepts that it navigates, some of which are increasingly relevant now. While the state of the worldwide pandemic has instituted lockdowns, it hasn’t led to a determination that the outside air can’t be breathed, forcing people to retreat inwards as the only means of safeguarding themselves. What this advanced virtual reality technology offers is something that many in this current moment would surely welcome: a chance to feel as if life is happening exactly as you want it to, just as viscerally and three-dimensionally as if it was real. It’s understandable that such an allure would evidently lead to addiction and, as films like “Inception” have tackled, a problematic refusal to accept that what you are experiencing is not actually your true existence.

The ideas explored here are inherently more fascinating than their execution, which largely plays out as one man’s personal journey to hold on to his sense of self and to confront the inevitability of his own demise. The conversations portrayed are compelling, discussing whether clones should be considered sentient and why someone who knows that they are dying would want to leave behind a certifiably better version of themselves to be with their loved ones. This film feels like the perfect example of an illustration of science fiction concepts in action to be looked at in context with other films, more potent for analysis than as a standalone project.


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