Phillip Glass

Criterion Files

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of Guest Author month at Criterion Files: a month devoted to important classic and contemporary bloggers. This week, David Ehrlich, whose bimonthly column Criterion Corner was a favorite at Cinematical, takes on Paul Schrader’s incredible biopic Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. Tune in next week as Adam Charles returns Criterion Files to its usual rotation, and in the meantime you can take a look at the previous entries from guest contributors here. Infamous Japanese iconoclast Yukio Mishima once said “I still have no way to survive but to keep writing one line, one more line, one more line…,” a sentiment which suggests that his eventual suicide came only once his creative resources had run dry. Yet, as Paul Schrader’s sublime film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters so fluidly illustrates, Mishima ended his life with a self-administered sword thrust to the chest not because he was out of words, but rather because the page had never been a sufficient canvas for his artistic expression, or one to which he had ever intended to confine himself.

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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: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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