In the granddaddy of "technology run amok" films, the eponymous NORAD-sized supercomputer is designed as nuclear failsafe, but before you can say HAL (or Skynet, or the Matrix), the computer becomes self-aware and turns against its human masters.
Bizarrely forgotten, Colossus was actually produced before 2001, but delayed because its studio was so upset by the grim, flippant tone. Nowhere as grave and bloodless as your standard Luddite paranoid fantasy, the film is actually closer in spirit to Strangelove, with its wry literate script, crisp pacing, mordant take on human folly and increasingly odd twists—notably when Colossus puts its scientist-creator’s every move (including sexy time) under surveillance.
Director: Joseph Sargent. 100 min. 1970. 35mm.
Followed by a panel discussion featuring journalist Maggie Jackson (Distracted: The Erosion of Attention & the Coming Dark Age), critic Joshua Rothkopf (Time Out NY), author Jason Zinoman (Shock Value), roboticist Chris Bregler and AI pioneer Roger Schank. Moderated by Motherboard editor-at-large Michael Byrne.
Part of the Doomsday Film Festival and Symposium.
Co-presented by Motherboard.
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