We’re a few days away from the end of the year, the end of the decade, the end of 20 memorable and impactful years since the dawn of the new millennium. It all seems like a blur. 20 years full of technology innovations that have made their mark in our lives. From the birth of Facebook and Instagram to the revolution brought by smartphones, it has been a whirlwind to say the least.
Tech managed to infiltrate all walks of our lives and cinema could not have escaped the unstoppable tech-effect. Tech-related movies have come in bunches over the past 20 years and some of them are already considered iconic. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and pay homage to the movies that will forever stay relevant.
With an abundance of free time during Christmas these are your top 5 tech-related movies you can watch during Christmas.
The Social Network (2010)
Tech enthusiasts might scratch their head with this selection since the movie does not boast moments of tech brilliance but we feel it was appropriate to start with this one. Why? Because this is the story of one of the most revolutionary tech innovations our planet has ever experienced. Facebook is the godfather of all social networking sites. It might not be the first per se (shoutout to MySpace and mIRC), but Facebook is undoubtedly the first social media network that managed to put it all together.
Facebook clicked immediately and its meteoric rise was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. From connecting people and sharing experiences to releasing news and building business brands, the platform has become a true conglomerate.
The appeal of The Social Network movie was found in revealing the backstory to the conception of the idea and the critical first few days of Facebook. Billed as a Harvard project amongst a group of bright students, the story outlines the birth of Facebook and what went down in order for this idea to materialise. Mark Zuckerberg is the person of interest in a movie that caused quite a stir after its release. Many claim that Facebook’s CEO “stole the idea” from his fellow students and ran with it as he could see the huge upside of the project. The movie itself is not Academy award-winning material but it will always be watched and referenced as the story behind almighty Facebook.
What a movie! For those who still haven’t seen it, there will be some spoilers so you better quit reading this article and rush to a quiet room to watch it. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by genius Christopher Nolan, this is a movie that plays and thrives on the idea of “lucid dreaming” and the ability of the brain to create alternate realities. Nolan managed to push the boundaries of our understanding and propose the idea of being able to dream within a dream, adding layers of reality on top of layers of reality.
The brain is one of the most important, if not the most important resource of our time. Its ability to store data, generate ideas and safeguard information is the topic of discussion in technology circles and there’s a good reason for that. Scientists and tech experts view the human mind as the one piece of capital that will dictate how technology will evolve in the years to come. Just have a look at one of our recent articles, “Brain Computer Interface: Is Mind-Reading Becoming a Reality?” and you’ll immediately understand what we’re talking about. The processing power and capacity of the human brain makes it capable to distort reality as we currently understand it and give birth to ideas with unfathomable repercussions.
Upon its inception, Inception was received with a pinch of salt as it was considered a bit too complicated and a bit too perplexing in the ideas it was proposing. 10 years on we can safely say it’s as relevant as it has ever been and this is a movie that managed to grasp an idea way ahead of its time.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, Her explores the developing relationship between a lonely man and an A.I. virtual assistant named Samantha. The premise of the story might sound rudimentary when you first hear it but trust us when we say it’s quite the opposite.
Artificial intelligence has become one of the most talked about technology breeds of our time and an area that every single tech company in the world is investing in. From banking to everyday life, AI is changing the whole wide world.Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa are becoming prominent expressions of this technology. Employing voice recognition and pulling data from an enormous pull of data, these assistants are becoming as close to a human companion as you could wish for.
The movie uses this idea to investigate the implications of the human-AI relationship. The main character of the story is a lonely man that finds affection and companionship in the warm voice of the A.I. virtual assistant. The line between what’s real and what’s not gets blurry and the protagonists starts developing feelings for the “woman” that’s always there to answer his questions. Where do we draw the line between man and machine? Will AI end up replacing basic human functions? Her opens the floodgates for an ethical debate that bears some serious thought.
Ex Machina (2015)
Building on the idea of artificial intelligence comes the Oscar nominated Ex Machina. A tour de force, a movie that sucks you in and spits you out the other side a changed human. The movie deals with a young programmer that partakes in a Turing test to gauge the capabilities and consciousness of an artificial intelligence robot.
The way the story develops opens our eyes to the dangers, pitfalls and ethical considerations attached the wonders of artificial intelligence technology. The reality presented by the movie is not one of a dystopian world but rather a reality of the not-so-distant future. What should we expect when we strive to make machines as identical to us as we do? What happens when we empower machines to the level we intend to do it? Ex Machina paints a powerful, emotion-filled picture on how life would be with such a version of A.I. It most definitely makes you think after it’s done sending shivers down your spine.
Avatar is no regular movie. It is the second highest grossing movie of all time (only behind Avengers: Endgame). This is a movie that breaks the genre / preference barrier and is classified in the ‘must watch’ category of movies. Taking place in 2154 in between Earth and imaginary planet Pandora, this is the story of humans attempting to populate another planet because Earth is overcrowded and not suitable for human life.
Apart from the impactful and moving plot of the movie, there’s a lot of tech-related content you can marvel at. From laryngophones, transparent displays and giant manned robots to flamethrowers and suborbital aircrafts, the movie is playground of tech references and wishful thinking. Even though the movie is only a decade removed from its release, it is both relevant and iconic.