Movie : New World Order
Director : Susan Lim, Christina Teenz Tan, Samudra Kajal Saikia
” Everywhere one seeks to produce meaning, to make the world signify, to render it visible. We are not, however, in danger of lacking meaning; quite the contrary, we are gorged with meaning and it is killing us.” ~ Jean Baudrillard
A series of films by Susan Lim, Christina Teenz Tan, Samudra Kajal Saikia gyrate around the notion of Artificial Intelligence. These are short stories displaying a plethora of emotions including gloom, excitement, disappointment, melancholy and hope. The protagonist in the films appears helpless like many human beings around Artificial Intelligence. The stuffed toy represents all the befuddled individuals who are still busy making sense out of a chaotic world. The theme of Artificial Intelligence has been used quite dexterously as it would be very difficult for one to decipher its role in the film mentioned above.
The makers evidently have refused to side with the idea of the omniscient creator. They appear as puzzled as the audience and the protagonist. The conscious individual (the toy) is making an effort to not disappear in the abyss of nothingness. The message is pretty loud and clear. It is true that there is something that mere human beings find difficult to comprehend. However there must not be a lack of effort. One must try to create his own meaning, one must try to exist within the chaos around him. In ‘Synthetic Me’ a similar concept was shown. The protagonist is consciously trying to accept the changes in his body.
The medium of animation used in the movie appears interesting. The colourful pictures, images and symbols would attract the attention of the audience. It might take them sometime to fathom the profundity of the plot. Another interesting idea is that the characters are symbols of innocence (a little girl, a stuffed toy). These symbols might make their cluelessness appear authentic.
It is also interesting to note the meta message in the movies. The way the makers have used a technological tool
in order to critique technological advancements surrounding the replication of consciousness.
One must first understand the nature of the new world order. It can be both a harbinger of hope and the ominous symbol of total annihilation. The New World Order, be it good or terrible, is certainly something different from the one we look upon at the moment. Definitions, language , emotions all disappear and reappear in a moment in the New World Order and it is precisely this, we must first admit and then accept.
The images of the treadmill and the synthesizer as a symbolic stairway to heaven act as symbols of the human body and art (music) respectively. A puzzled protagonist must adapt to the virtual treadmill if he wants to keep fit and play the tune of life on the synthesizer that resembles a vertical stairway upwards. All these images appear innocuous and unnerving at the same point of time. The changes are visible yet there is very little that one can do about them if the changes are repugnant.
The makers have refused to wear the glass of pretentious premonitions. They are waiting with an equal amount of eagerness to see what is to become of mankind in the following days to come. However, they know one thing for sure, we must never forget the most important doctrine of Charles Darwin. We must adapt or we shall perish, in a world of indifference and greed.