Tag: tessa thompson

ACF#33: Westworld


Two of my academic friends, George Dunn and Jason Eberl, join me for a discussion of Westworld, the HBO sci-fi-Western now premiering its second season. Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (husband and wife) give us a new version of a Blade Runner future and this is one we recommend. We talk through all sorts of important philosophical insights from Plato to Nietzsche, showing what intelligent writers-directors bring to popular culture and how we can think about our crisis of identity. We end with a discussion of friendship and truth-telling.

ACF#27 Ex Machina


Out in theaters this weekend is Alex Garland’s second directorial feature, Annihilation, so the American Cinema Foundation is bringing you a discussion of his directorial feature, Ex Machina, starring Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, and Domnhall Gleeson, and which earned Garland his first Oscar nomination, for Best Writing Original Screenplay. We talk about everything from the movie’s warning about how we might replay creation, as per Genesis, and get it wrong, being that we’re not God, to the strange way in which sci-fi has become the last place for heroes, for moral stories where we, faced with crisis, retrieve an understanding of our own human nature that helps us make sense of the future.