Surrogates



Here's an interesting-looking trailer- Surrogates, which is based on a graphic novel I've never heard of. Which isn't saying much, these days people are producing GNs purely as storyboards for Hollywood pitch meetings. This kind of an interesting twist on Second Life, with the requisite Calvinist sadomasochism that Hollywood loves to serves up. Puritanism is still very much part of the American psyche, which is why so much money is spent on hedonistic actors and expensive computer effects to create films that inculcate us with Luddite messages against human progress and Calvinist messages against human pleasure. Maybe it's the frisson brought on by those innate contradictions that makes it all so exciting.

This reminds me a bit of Total Recall as well as The Sixth Day, but that's not surprising given the constant feedback loop between the comics world and Hollywood, now celebrated at that former comics convention held in San Diego every summer.

The irony of the title is that the comics subculture has been a surrogate for Hollywood creativity for the past 10 years or so. Comics were such a rich source of creativity for so long because no one was paying attention. Now that we have even obscure GNs becoming Bruce Willis movies, I'm not exactly sure how long that will last.

17 comments:

  1. An original twist on Second Life indeed. I shall be looking our for this.

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  2. Its always sad to see, when a niche becomes mainstream, and starts conveying the same dull, lame messages and agendas like the rest.

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  3. Let's hope for a great storyline and screenplay. Either way, should be overloaded with tons of symbolism.

    Couldn't help but notice that the filmmakers for this movie, were the ones behind Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The robot, artificial intelligence and transhumanism memes seems to be making a strong foothold in Hollywood, a constant rehashing of themes from Jack Kirby, like the classic 'Machine Man' storyline. But, knowing Hollywood, this will be lot of lipstick on a pig - strong special effects with no intellectually stimulating or poignant story.

    Given the synopsis that these robots are serving as social surrogates, it makes me wonder about the other themes we have seen recently relating to humans living in a parallel dimension (as seen on Fox's hit TV show Fringe) or theories about aliens living alongside us or the concept of the Iggigi watching us for the Annunaki. Note that, following the destruction of his own surrogate, the cop's human form is revealed. A sort of disclosure. Maybe this is another movie that will tap into theories about our hidden alien powers and our neural programming network.

    Just maybe.

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  4. Main difference between the surrogates GN and the movie is how surrogacy is marketed. The comic has a really positive message in my opinion, that we will never be able to simulate real experience, real emotion and that to try and do so is foolish. It hints that every technology will result in misapplication. The trailers and viral marketing for the movie have skewed it all into an attractive lifestyle choice. Is this the way the world is heading? People reduced to computer terminals, with plug-in arbitrary personalities based on their media/lifestyle consumption habits. Will we be forced into cyborg immortality? Suddenly the prospect of ever-lasting life looks deeply unappealing to me.

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  5. Not read the GN, but the main concept strongly resembles David Brin's excellent novel Kil'n People - which takes the idea of surrogates much further (ie a person can program multiple simultaneous copes of varying complexity and fidelty for different purposes). Recommended reading!

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  6. Bruce Rux thinks these robots are from mars. Richard Hoagland found images of a c3p0 head in his dark mission, on the New age ufology post.
    I'm thinking of Walter Koenig, "Chekov" in 1989's alien artifact war robot on the moon film, Moontrap.

    Someone 'knew' there was robot technology on the moon.

    As for Graphic Novels, director Len Wiseman of Underworld, and the Bruce Willis vehicle:Live free or die hard, picked up a copy of Shrapnel. Radical Publishing's sciencefiction epic, and obtained the rights for the movie himself.

    Can it be? Science fiction and comic creators have graduated to the brass ring? It's not about story or art anymore but it's a job. Which is like a lot of 3d effects and visuals lately. Every college has a 'game' 'fx' program right now, and no one knows who is creating the work. Not like the early 90's where you knew who was doing unsolved mysteries f/x, seaquest, babylon 5, stargate, space above and beyond. Even the software and hardware were cool.
    This 1 million monkeys concept of 'industry' instead of craft is probably going into comic-manga industry. Outsiders coming into it to make a million, so you do that by seeing 'what worked' before. Classic hollywood 'screenwriting' technique, unless it's the spooks feeding a storyline, or the synchromystics searching for meaning.

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  7. Guys, I'm super busy this week, so I'll have to get back on the comments. But as far as the comics thing- there was a really exciting time after the market crashed where no one was paying any attention and people were trying anything. A lot of what we're seeing filter into the culture comes from that period. People were acting out of passion and desperation. Once that laser beam of the Almighty Seeing Eye Dollar focuses in on you, everything changes, and it definitely has in comics. But there's been some benefit from that as well.


    But Jack Kirby did all of his most visionary work when he was out of vogue and the mainstream didn't care. That's when the magic really happened.

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  8. I saw this preview when I went to see District 9. There was actually like 4 trailers in a row for movies with sci-fi/apocalyptic things. It sort of felt like I was in church.

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  9. I saw the trailer a coupla weeks back and immediately thought that the concept is straight out of GREEN LANTERN#6 from 1961... "The World of Living Phantoms!"

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  10. Bruce Willis movies always serve up manic self mutilation. He makes the end with much blood and injury to himself. What tomfoolery, no living man could endure his endless blood sport. When will he fade away or just lighten up himself? Arise Bruce, take a chill pill or light the splif, quit taking on every possible blood sport. Shine forth brave souls! Dennis.

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  11. Recipe:
    First "6th Day" with Arnie
    than
    "Terminator" with Arnie
    than
    "I Robot" with Willie Smith
    Spiced with Blade Runner, Virtuosity,A.I. and latest Shamalama pic with Mark Walhberg pic which contains people drop dead on the streets which synch with half billion movie he made with Mr. Willis.
    And all that synch to me with Dusan Vukotic's oscar winning short animated film called "Surogat"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qpexFfqX3M

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  12. This is an embryonic thought form but I throw it out undeveloped. Has anyone ever considered the relationship between this concept and a matrix style theme. Perhaps we already reside as higher/other dimensional beings who have projected into this realm, born into what amounts to a biological surrogate. During the process of birth and early childhood trauma we lose our connection and walk around hijacked, disconnected from our higher/true selves and purpose for incarnation. Our ego is formed and manipulated for the necessity of maintaining a ignorant/deceived slave race. Memes like this movie will entice us to work hard to create the next improved model or worker at which time...Being that I'm a product of every movie I can or can't remember seeing I, like a blind kid at the dinner table just mashed together the peas, potatoes, and some gravy and thought it tasted original. Yuck.

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  13. swoosh!

    Thats the sound of calvinist sadomasochism going right over my head. Again, i love it tho, that will make for a good day of googlin and wikipedian.

    I think i kinda get you what you are kinda saying, Hollywood goes over the top to get people to do something, or anything. Trying to get people to go jack kirby, if only in their own way.

    encore bruh, encore!

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  14. this movie looks wicked - more warning signs of the dangers of jacking into something (technology) as a proxy for reality - we are certainly heading there, but at what cost?

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  15. I'm often wondered about this from various angles. The idea of suspended animation combined with virtual reality. I myself see the value and wondered after seeing a old movie about shelter building for surviving nuclear war. I thought why not build a pod and suspend underground instead of trying to stock food water and all the rest so you sit around singing campfire songs. No thanks. Then I played Fallout 3 and about flipped out when I got to the part with the vary same motif. If you haven't played the game this one part is deep on many levels, it's a fascinating sub-story that left me wondering about this reality as well. Then there is long duration space travel...What if a simulated reality comes to the same point and builds another sub reality? Sims within Sims, worlds within worlds?

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  16. Why are they bringing back all the shows from the 80's?:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfj2RkAeKPE&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfLiwcbgYJ4&feature=related

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  17. Just watched "Surrogates".
    It's good on so many levels.

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