Wally, Kim Stanley Robinson, Weli discussed on Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood


Is about a future where humans have ruined earth's environment with trash, they live in space. Captives two screens self-driving chairs liquified food and robots servants. One little robot is left on earth to clean up the mess until he finds love and ends up saving humanity. From itself this summer were bringing back our tech and entertainment series and to kick it off. Here's another listen to an interview we love on the lessons of Wally with great scifi writer, Kim Stanley Robinson, author of New York, twenty one forty which also imagines a world transformed by environmental collapse, as it happens Wally is one of his favorite movies. Well, it wasn't a hard call to make in two thousand eight it was just a social commentary on what was already happening in at the time and two thousand eight and now are not that different socially, and culturally. I guess you could just say, more has happened the Paris accord. There's a worldwide awareness of climate change in environmental collapse. And that was also true in two thousand eight so I would just say that the situation has been exacerbated in a way that Wally is pointing out things aren't as bad as they are in Weli. But we're we're trending in that direction. Both in good ways, and, and the really bad ways. There's also this kind of, there's also the very obvious message about how convenience becomes enslavement the idea of constant entertainment, and feeding and transportation that, that essentially takes away independence and autonomy. I mean is that that's like that is not an uncommon theme in science fiction? And I wonder if it's always been obvious really the humans in that movie, they're essentially like infants adulthood has been taken away, and against that Wally looks like sister. I you know, he's a worker bee. He doesn't. He has a stupid job to, to package trash into giant. Kayce grouper like columns since it's pointless in a way, and he's just being away at it, but then he begins to make all kinds of mature adult decisions falls in love joins a revolution. And overthrows the social order that already exists. The message is super clear, and I think it made people uncomfortable at the time in two thousand eight and I think it's still should make us a little uncomfortable. Did it? Do you think what was the what were the conversations about that? What we're people saying well, conservative commentators was saying, this is some kind of environmentalist scare message. And I, I saw Wally in a movie theater in bar harbor at the edge of Acadia national park. It was middle America on a summer vacation, seeing that movie and theatre where you got to eat pizza while you watch the movie and every movie gets around of applause. Well while he did not get around applause, the audience knew that it was being criticized for its habits. And there were lots of giant soft drinks in the theater as people were watching the movie, and then we were sitting back in recliners because of the. Pizza format of this particular theater. So it's one of the very few sat hairs that I think pokes them needle right in the in the heart of our lifestyle. And what do you think it says about independence and atonomy? I mean, there are some robots like you said, who break the rules to help humanity and of course, some humans to who sort of wake up to this utopia nightmare that they live in. Yep. That's right. I think it's a wake-up call like satires if they're not just going to be like nineteen Eighty-four ending with a boot on your face. They, they have to always end in revolution. In a wake-up of some characters it's funny, I think that it turns out to be a little machine with presumably really simple programming. It's a subversive message because it saying, you know, no matter how constricted your life is or your patterns. Are you can break out of them just by making a first gesture toward saving something? It's a well constructed consciousness raising film, especially given that it's basically a comedy with a kind of BUSTER. Keaton silent real. The first real of Weli is, is beautiful in that there's hardly any dialogue whatsoever. It's all done by visuals. So in movie terms, it's a it's a great success. In other way, that humanity is essentially saved is a is through the actions of a few. I mean, I'm thinking about the, the theater that you described watching this movie and not everybody wakes up not every wants to in fact, most sounds like it seems like don't right? Are we are too comfortable to embrace autonomy and independence? And I, I guess I wonder what the film also says about leadership. Well, I think it's a good message in the leadership can come from anywhere and needs to be mass source from below. And if anybody starts it, it begins to spread so I like it. It's really a revolution from below by ordinary activities. I think Americans do feel cocooned by crowd and people. Go on vacation in order to do something simpler and harder. People go down to the gym to do. Something physical. I mean, all of these are commodified versions of things that you can do for free just by walking out your front door and taking a walk down the street or or planting little garden. If you have land in, if not put it in pots, the urge is there, this is what I'm thinking the urge for more physical bodily life, a more balanced life where you aren't just a consumer, but are also producing something of your own. I think that urges there. So the movie speaks to something really deep inside all of us Saifi author, Kim Stanley Robinson. Big fan of the movie Wally, are there, techy movies, you want us to talk about let us know. We are M P tech at marketplace dot org..

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