Questioning the Human Machine
Great essays, whether written or audiovisual, open up the subject of their investigation in unexpected ways. They make connections to other works of art, other theories, other ways of looking that cast the fascination that fuels the essay in the first place into a new light.
This video essay for Fandor does just that. It finds thematic riches in science fiction movie Ex Machina by placing it within a larger framework of film history (Blade Runner), art history (painted nudes) AI and computer science (the Turing test) and cultural critique (the Bechdel test). These insights and connections by essayist Allison de Fren result in a great video essay that enhances both understanding and appreciation of its subject.