September 8, 2008
Over the summer I watched a countless number of films, most of them were tragic, all of them were entertaining. One film, Electroma, struck me as particularly interesting. Written and directed by the masterminds of one of the most popular electronic music acts to date, Daft Punk, Electroma is an experimental, and completely dialogue free, film about robots trying to become human. Throughout the movie I was captivated by the eerie sense of humanity that these robot beings emanated. As the two robot main characters walked through town other robots were seen living seemingly human lives in the surrounding environment. At the end of the movie, after a failed attempt at applying wax replica faces to their robot heads, one of the main characters commits the purely human act of suicide, completing this eerie feeling with a heavy dose of sadness.
After watching Electroma I realized that it had an even more important role in the contemporary arts than that of just another creative movie. The way it depicts robots as humans it allows us to delve deep into the question; why do we enjoy tragedy? When we see a tragic film we view the actors as fake characters, or robots if you will. The reason we don’t fall into a deep depression when we see a sad film is that there is a disconnect between the characters and the moviegoers, they are not real to us. With this knowledge we are able to feel their real life emotions without fully feeling their pain, and this is why we are entertained. It is like the thrill of experiencing life without the agony of tragedy. When the film reel shuts off and we make our first steps toward the door we are able to breathe deeply and allow the real world rush over our bodies again. We have experienced sorrow without the sorrow.