...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

March 16, 2006

S1m0ne - 7

I may be over ranking this film, but I have discovered that I love the films of Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, Gattaca, Lord of War...oh and he wrote The Terminal- a minor blemish on his record). The reason I like Niccol, and many others don't is that he is explicitly philosophical in making films. His films often work as allegories and involve rather hyperbolic stories. But the points his stories make about our own lives are very intelligent. I was inspired to see this film after reading an article by Slate author and Hollywood economist Edward Epstein (I have a link to his site on my sidebar).
Simone is a computer generated actor who becomes movie director Victor Taransky's muse (played well by Al Pacino, Catherine Keener and Evan Rachel Wood are also good). As Simone becomes famous as an actor the story asks the questions of who is really in control and what is the line between illusion and reality. Later in the film, Transky's daughter tells her mother, that there is just as much evidence that Simone doesn't exist as there is that she does exist. It is a test of belief. This film also asks good questions about the role of technology in our lives and what it does to human relationships. The line is fuzzy between whether technology is good or bad and how this is affected by human interaction with it. If you can take the overt metaphor and some predictability you can enjoy and learn from this film. I think that Niccol's films are great because they can become the jumping off point for good discussion, which I think can be better than the films themselves. He tells the stories in a way that helps people put there opinions out in the open and up for debate. I think this is one of the goals that the medium of film has, and good starting place are Niccol's films.

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