The World of Robots, science fiction according to Michael Crichton

The World of Robots, science fiction according to Michael Crichton
It was August 15, 1973 when Michael Crichton's film The World of Robots was shown to the world in preview. The film, whose original title is Westworld, has become a cult of science fiction filmography, and was one of the first films to explore the theme of the rebellion of the machines.

Officially the film was released in US theaters on November 21, 1973 (in Italy, however, December 7 of the same year arrived) and immediately aroused the interest of many science fiction fans. In fact, the character played by Yul Brynner, the robot-gunslinger, immediately became part of the collective imagination. The cast remember Richard Benjamin who plays Peter Martin and James Brolin who plays John Blane, the two humans who will fight against robots and will experience first hand the escalation of madness and violence of which the androids will be the main supporters.

In Michael Crichton's work, reality and fantasy collide in a dystopian future not so far from reality. After all, the American writer, here as a director, is accustomed to creating imaginary realities so imaginable that they are confused with a plausible future.

Let's find out why The World of Robots changed cinema forever of the 1970s and influenced the genre literature of the decades to come.

What The World of Robots is about

The World of Robots is set in 2000 and photographs a society in which quality of life has reached very high levels, as has the development of new technologies. For this reason, a theme park was built, Delos, where wealthy tourists can interact with androids in different historical periods: ancient Rome, the Middle Ages and the Far West.

in the latter setting, he lives the robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner, who, along with the other androids , programmed to satisfy every desire of the visitors wealthy. Entertainment idyllic and adventurous, the fact of duels with blows of gun against the robot, until you experience a malfunction of the humanoid machines: the machines begin to go out of control and to develop a sort of consciousness of its own. In this case, Michael Crichton introduces in the literature and filmography of the genre sci-fi the theme of the computer virus, a fear that, in the late nineties and two thousand will become more and more concrete.

The narrative of the film develops as a sort of chain reaction, where each fact introduces another still more serious than the previous. In this crescendo of emotions, the figure of the robot-gunslinger becomes central to understanding issues far more spacious than the rebellion of the machines against man. For this reason, The World of Robots becomes a real metaphor of a society that is standardized , where the exception is no longer contemplated and the rule is the only shade that you can understand.

The two humans who will fight against the robot-gunslinger, thus become emblematic figures of a personification of the more latent fears of the american people, as the events of the Vietnam war, but also, for example, the scandal of Watergate that contributed to the change in the consciences of the inhabitants of the USA at the beginning of the Seventies of the last century. For this, Hollywood, and in this case, some of the works of Michael Crichton, they become the litmus paper of society of those years , made of fears real and distopiche at the same time, in which, just like in the movie, reality and fantasy mingle to create new monsters are far more dangerous than those created from the classic literature of the horror.

The machines rebel

The central theme of the film, as we mentioned, is the rebellion of the machines against man. A figurative meaning, which introduces us to the concepts of the philosophy and contemporary sociology. The World of Robots we speak of mass society, understood as a harsh criticism of capitalism, which, in the Seventies, showed her strength and her appeal for people around the world.

the theme of The rebellion of the machines is recurrent in the literature of sci-fi from its origins that can be even found in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In the course of the last two centuries, this theme has become more and more present in works of both literary and film. In this regard, we can recall the milestones, such as the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, The Hunter of Androids of P. K. Dick (from which was drawn the Blade Runner ), until you get a film that changed forever the rules of the sci-fi and, then, to HAL 9000 of 2001: a Space Odyssey.

usually, the machines that rebel against the man are seen as a problem to which there can be a bank, an atavistic fear of physically difficult to contain. For this reason, The World of the Robot opens scenarios new that anticipate the content of the film such as the Terminator , making the robot-gunslinger the perfect ancestor of the T-800 , played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Cameron's film.

In the TV series Westworld – Where anything is Granted , of Johnathan Nolan and Lisa joy, review-serial key of the film's Seventy-three of Michael Crichton, the story's longer duration allows us to capture nuances more varied than the story of the film. In fact, the television show, aired from 2016, reminiscent of the best of the tradition of literature and films on the subject, explores in a different manner the rebellion of the machines.

These are no longer the arch-enemy of man, but are an allegory of the human being, contemporary, a slave of an eternal assembly line that flattens the critical sense. For this reason, dr. Robert Ford, the central character of the TV series, enable the memories of the androids, to try to make them more human and bring them out of the loop of the narrative in which they are doomed to perpetuate. The reflection on the relationship man-machine can't run out with a single work, but the Tv series Westworld is a great example of how to make a remake of a great classic , adapted to modern society. Not a plagiarism but a passing, which immediately became a classic of the genre.

Michael Crichton, the father of modern science fiction

by Michael Crichton, the director of " The World of Robots , was a revolutionary writer of novels, sci-fi . His writings can be classified as a thriller technology. There have been many film adaptations of the novels of the american writer as the Congo , the novel of 1980, which was made into a film with Tim Curry, 1995, and the Sphere , written in 1987 and presented to the film eleven years later.

The novel is jumped to the honors of the literature of science fiction is Jurassic Park, which gave life to the famous film franchise. Jurassic Park is the direct descendant of The World of Robots , because even here we find the theme of “amusement park” that turned into something totally unexpected. The technology, reconstruction genetics, in this case, gives off a series of dramatic events that lead the reader to wonder about the potentialities and limits of the revolution in tech . Jurassic Park , it then resumes all the themes of the film, Crichton and the door to the next level the potential. Also here, an amusement park whose theme is taken from a bygone era, designed to perfection, at least on paper, reveals all the limitations of the technology.

The man who wants to defy the laws of nature, remains a prisoner of his own technique, his mind, too ambitious to be content and to not generate a catastrophe. Crichton has managed, in his literary and cinematic, to take advantage of the fears of the more important of the society of the time, and transpose them into art as a natural evolution of philosophy that explores the desires untold of the human being.

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