Scientist Max Bernholm, played by Tommie Grabiec, provides a service that allows users of the program, known as “The Generator,” to experience feelings and emotions when connected to a computer system. This ‘human feel’ is extended through sharing such experiences with one of the scientist’s chosen group of young and healthy men, cocooned in a lab where their only purpose is to provide virtual services to the paying public. Services include simulated running programs for paraplegics to virtual reality sex sessions for bored lonely office workers.
Max Bernholm’s desire to test the latest technology of mind control and human touch interaction eventually leads to disastrous results. The scientist’s actions can only be stopped by his employees Leander (Wesley Forke) and Natalia (Monica Wadwa).
Many sci fi or futuristic films follow what could be described as a straightforward and simple formula, where technology is manipulated by a crazy scientist or madman who endangers society as we know it. This is no different and there is an inevitability regarding the development of the story. However I was slightly thrown by one scene at the ending.
The film is overall entertaining; a number of sub plots and characters are drawn into the realms of the virtual world and you witness their subsequent reliance on the Generator. Whilst the subject matter is a serious one, the film avoids getting too heavy on the technological aspects of virtual reality and keeps its entertainment value.
The production and editing is impressive, particularly when you consider the film’s minuscule budget, timescale, a skeletal script and improvising by the talented cast. This shows the dedication, comradery and enthusiasm of the cast and crew, who seem to work collectively the director. The end result reflects this as the characters do have natural on- screen chemistry and presence.
Rudy’s approach to filming is clearly demonstrated and he takes pride in working with other evidently talented artists. He has taken on complex themes with many messages, including of course the importance of human connection, our growing dependence on virtual reality and use of new technologies in order to ‘improve’ life experiences or standards of living.
Author William S Burroughs said ‘The purpose of technology is not to confuse the brain but to serve the body.’ Palmer Freeman Luckey, the American entrepreneur and founder of Oculus VR has said ‘Virtual reality is inevitably going to become mainstream – it’s only a question of how good it needs to be before the mainstream is willing to use it.’
The Generator does leave me questioning how we use virtual reality to our advantage and, despite our ability to use certain technology, should we? The film demonstrates what is pending but is this all good? Perhaps in time, and using this film as a moral compass, we will determine what is good, safe or even dangerous. The film will run a film festival circuit before being available to the general public.
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David Emmanuel Noel is an avid blogger, film fanatic and theatre goer. He is also a contemporary artist and curator, contributing to several music events and visual art exhibitions at venues such as the Bernie Grant Arts Centre London, the Landmark Arts Building New York and Whole 9 Gallery in Culver City, California. He has worked closely with bodies such as the Royal Institute of British Architects, New York Mayor’s Office, the New York Charity CAMBA, Groundswell Murals, NSPCC, ACLT and the London Boroughs on projects supporting the social and therapeutic benefits of art, design and architecture. He is based in London and New York.