Barry Ptolemy

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with people that want to live forever and punks who throw rocks at their faces all night long. The minds behind the book “Destroy All Movies!!!,” Zack Carlson and Brian Connolly, talk about how punks have been portrayed in movies from 8MM to Zombie Nightmare. Barry Ptolemy, director of Transcendent Man, shares with us the challenges of shooting a documentary, the joy of getting to know Ray Kurzweil, and the recipe for eternal life. Plus, Katey Rich from Cinema Blend and Germain Lussier from /Film go head-to-head in our movie news quiz, and we all end up talking about Hunger Games. Naturally. Loosen up your tie and stay a while.

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For a very important reason, Transcendent Man begins with death. It’s a theme that pervades the entire discussion of technology, the future, and the direction that humanity might be headed in. After all, it’s that fear of death that propels us forward to delaying it, and, if Ray Kurzweil has his way, defeating it. If the idea of scientifically-created immortality (as opposed to the philosophical or Pearly Gate variety) seems outlandish, it’s only one of several put forth by Kurzweil in the film. Fortunately, it’s a movie about much more than just his predictions. It would be the dullest mind-blowing experience if it were, but instead of focusing too much on the science, the documentary creates a portrait of the man making the claims – complete with his failings and warmth. One version is a genius inventor who created a way for the blind to read. The other is a man haunted by the spectre of his father and debilitated by the thought of his own end.

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Ray Kurzweil believes that by 2030, machines will have attained something like a consciousness and that distinguishing between human and robot intelligence will be nearly impossible. This isn’t the logline for a science fiction thriller or a gimmicky Jeopardy! appearance. It’s the honest belief of an incredibly intelligent inventor, technophile, and habitual vitamin popper. You’ve got to keep your body strong if you want to live forever. So, yes, with his belief that humans may one day be able to live eternally by merging with machines (and having nanobots swim around inside our blood), Kurzweil seems pretty out there. The new trailer for Transcendent Man – a movie about Kurzweil and his ideas – seems equally as out there. Fortunately, it also seems at least mildly fair-handed unlike most documentaries these days. Check it out for yourself, and hurry up. You’re not going to live forever, you know:

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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