Reviews and comments on Quebec, international and author cinema

Asleep – Dissatisfaction

« Can you do it remotely? »

Asleep - posterIn the future, the things we take on the human nature. Partially by design to make us feel more comfortable. Meanwhile, owners become more mechanical to one another and the things they own. This came naturally from a collective thought; that everything could be replaced, there are no more ephemeral moments, everything is recorded, logged and could be called back with a snap of a finger. The idea of romance slowly faded into the memory of an older generation. This is where we find Nicole, we’re trying to figure out her current relationship and why it’s not working.

With technology comes the desire for speed. Our computers and phones are getting faster, but never seem fast enough. With technology comes also the “intelligent machine”. With Asleep, selected in Cannes in 2018 in the Short Film Corner, Oleg J. imagines the relationship of a couple in a not so distant future…

Hard, hard the couple relationships

Asleep - Hard the couple relashionshipsNot easy the couple relationships. But, above all, it’s not easy to find the right person. We see it with the proliferation of websites and mobile applications that allow to meet the soul mate. Or sometimes to meet a disaster…

The success rate of these sites is not particularly high. With Asleep, we go a little further. The director imagines the next step. In the not too distant future, when dating sites have probably failed to create couples, Nicole will decide to find an artificial intelligence that will act as a companion. No, no, she’s not crazy. It is now common practice.

But, are these adapting machines sufficient for our multiple demands?

Always faster

Asleep - Always fasterMark (the machine in question) quietly adapts to the behavior and demands of his partner. But when we are ready to buy a lover, do we still have the patience to give him time to adapt?

This is pretty much the problem that Nicole meets. In a world that is always faster, she does not really like the idea of waiting. Besides, she does not really appreciate that the “machine” cannot just be updated remotely. Yes, waiting, always waiting.

There is just no way to have an easy romantic relationship. Even with an AI…

But still…

Asleep - but still I do not really like films that take place in the future and where we imagine what science or technology could give. Still, Asleep pleased me. I admit having to look at it a second time to really appreciate it at its true value.

But the future in which we are projected is, after all, quite likely to happen. We can imagine Asleep as being the film that fits into the technological logic of the feature film Her, by Spike Jonze. Oleg J. goes a step further by inserting this AI into a human body. And as a specialist in digital technology and amateur artificial intelligence technologies, this short film strangely resembles a near future. I would be curious to see this film again in 10 years…

Rating: 8/10

There are two versions of this film, which was shot in both English and French. It has not been doubled, which is rare…


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