2050

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The future.  It is the question mark that hangs above all our heads.  What will it look like?  Will there be flying cars?  Or will drones deliver all that we need?  In the future, just how far will robotic engineering come in making human-like machines that walk and talk and, yes, fuck.   We are all curious and, as there is no harm in asking questions, we have a satire like 2050 to, uh, take us there.

E-mates.  That’s what we will call them says 2050.  Sex bots.  Whatever you want to call them, they are – at least in the world of this comic fantasy – all around us.  Filmed in New York City and shot in anamorphic 2.35, 2050 makes a bold prediction about our love for e-mates and our desire to make human, the ones we marry, better . . . and these decisions are all made over takeout containers of kung pow chicken. 

We CAN change the world . . . one failed relationship after another. 

Bold.  Interesting.  And darkly comic.  This film dips its toes into Stanley Kubrickian territory and gives us much to think about as the dating scene blasts off into the future.  Directed by Princeton Holt and starring Dean Cain (Lois and Clark), 2050 tells the story of a married video game worker who, once face to face with an E-mate, journeys into a world of customized lovers and really, really awful decisions.

Starring David Vaughn, Irina Abraham, Devin Fuller, Stefanie Bloom, Stormi Maya, Jace Nicole, Shannone Holt, and Hope Blackstock, the film – stylish and thoughtful in its unwinding – is buoyed by some incredible classical pieces.  It even borrows from A Clockwork Orange as a warehouse of robotic delights tempts one man as he steps out of his domestic haze to help his brother-in-law win back his girlfriend.

The film – even as it talks about ways to strengthen a man’s penis and still go to heaven – manages to be both funny, soapy, and operatic as Michael (Vaughn) makes his own sex-robot . . . for research purposes and loses himself in the experience of trying to give her experiences.  2050 doesn’t disappoint, but it also doesn’t excite, which is bit sad.  This film is a collection of lots of single takes.  They work to create a certain mood but, without the edits, there is a missed opportunity to humanize these characters.  Perhaps that is the point, though.  This is, after all, a prolonged meditation on what makes humans both tick and tock in a world that is increasingly automatic. 

When the robots eventually become more human than our two leads, we have to chuckle.  This film is holding the mirror up to ourselves and in it we see the cracks.  There is an intelligence behind and in front of the camera throughout 2050 that continues to push this film toward its conclusion.  From doing push-ups with his sex-bot on his back to eating the right food, nothing is too much for Drew (Fuller) conditions himself – that is, reprograms himself – to be the perfect mate for his lost girlfriend.

Even the robots are changing.  And that is damn spooky.  But that seems to be par for the course when one man goes on a no-strings attached bender and emerges . . . under the same electronic glow of the city’s neon lights. 

Written by Brian Ackley, 2050 has made the rounds at many film festivals in the past year and gone on to win 10 awards for its brilliant cinematography and its acting.  The film takes to the big stage this week and is now opening in theaters around the country to see if there are other viewers out in America ready and willing to embrace (and enter into) a physical relationship with its many E-mates that it parades in front of us. 

Go ahead and peek at the digital bits in 2050.  It's begging for it.

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