Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A.I.: 10 Years Later
The first part of the film is quiet and serene in and definitely more infused with Spielberg's instincts with familial pleasures. The middle section is nearly all Kubrick-infused-- violent, aggressive, but soulfully beautiful in its ambivalence (it's also, I believe the strongest section of the movie. The ending, which probably killed it for many and is and will always be the troubling area, where the darkness is coalesced into that of a fairy tale, and the mixture of the two cinematic giants looming generated an awkward undercurrent of diminished returns. But in a film so complicated, not just in origin, but in design, it's forgivable that the destination isn't nearly satisfying as the journey itself. And even if a great sense of hero worship was on display in every shot, the hero is Stanley Kubrick...there's a full circle effect this summer with the love adorned on Spielberg with J.J. Abrams' Super 8.
While ten years ago, movie patrons may have laughed or been taken off guard but what they just saw, I have faith in the cinematic universe that a film so singular and scary will have a lasting legacy. If not now, then later on because it deserves it, and ambitious think-pieces, even those that are wrapped with familiar genre flourishes nearly always take time to be properly admired. That was a staple throughout Kubrick's career; none of his films were out and out celebrated upon arrival-- many of them are still heavily contested in the most aggressive of film battles, but they were notable, as A.I., easily the most ambitious sci\fi story made since Blade Runner with few to rival on terms of scale or heart.