Robot Stories

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Robot Stories
Robot Stories movie.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Greg Pak
Produced by Karin Chien
Kim Ima
Written by Greg Pak
Starring Tamlyn Tomita
James Saito
Wai Ching Ho
Greg Pak
Sab Shimono
Music by Rick Knutsen
Cinematography Peter Olsen
Edited by Stephanie Sterner
Distributed by Pak Film
Release dates
  • January 20, 2003 (2003-01-20) (Slamdance)
Running time 85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $131,451[1]

Robot Stories is a 2003 American independent anthology science fiction comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Pak. The film consists of four stories in which human characters struggle to connect in a world of robot babies and android office workers. The film has won over 30 Film Festival awards[2].

Plot[edit]

The stories include:

  1. "My Robot Baby": A couple, Marcia and Ray, must care for a robot baby before adopting a human child.
  2. "The Robot Fixer": A mother, Bernice, tries to connect with her dying son by completing his toy robot collection.
  3. "Machine Love": An office worker android, Archie, learns that he, too, needs love.
  4. "Clay": An old sculptor, John, must choose between natural death and digital immortality.

Cast[edit]

  • Tamlyn Tomita as Marcia
    • Gina Quintos as young Marcia
  • James Saito as Ray / Groper
  • Wai Ching Ho as Bernice
  • Greg Pak as Archie
  • Julienne Hanzelka Kim as Lydia
  • Sab Shimono as John
  • Eisa Davis as Helen
  • Ron Domingo as Tommy
  • Cindy Cheung as Grace
  • Louis Ozawa Changchien as Wilson
  • Angel Desai as Amanda
  • Bill Coelius as Bob
  • Vin Knight as Doug
  • Karen Tsen Lee as Mrs. Ito
  • Glenn Kubota as Mr. Ito
  • John Cariani as Salesman

Production[edit]

Principal photography began on September 10, 2001, one day prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Themes[edit]

Authenticity as Ideology[edit]

The stories in Robot Stories all have character development in terms of their ideology, of which they accept in some form. In Robot Baby, Marsha forgives herself from the past by accepting the robot baby as a child that she can care for. Her revelation that she is becoming what she feared from her past was the climax of her change, leading to her discovery of her true identity. In The Robot Fixer, Bernice notes how she never had a strong connection with her son due to their contrasting ideologies. It led her to rediscover who her son really is and to bring the relationship closer as her son nears death. Machine Love provides Archie a way to connect with others when others would not connect with him due to his “race” as a robot. By finding another robot working at a different corporation, Archie would finally be able to communicate without rejection. Clay allows John to decide the meaning of life in a world where consciousness can be permanently stored. As a sculptor, John is unable to cope with the fact that life without a physical body was not authentic life as the emotions of his wife have slowly become artificial to him while physical activities can no longer be a challenge. Hence, he finds that eternal consciousness is not worth living for.

Reception[edit]

The film has a score of 72% with a certified "Fresh" rating and having been met with largely positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews with the consensus being that it is "Although its 4 stories vary in quality, Robot Stories is still worth a look for Twilight Zone fans". [3]

Wesley Morris from the Boston Globe in his review said "In Robot Stories, technology hasn't colonized human life, it's finding ways to make living (and loving) better". [4]

The San Francisco Chronicle in their glowing review of the film said that "This is a science fiction film, but like all excellent movies in the genre, the focus never strays from the human heart." [5]

In the TV Guide review of the film it was rewarded with 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and wrote that the film is "ostensibly about artificial life forms, each of these four short, expertly crafted stories offers a poignant perspective on what it means to be human." [6]

Christian Science Monitor's review of Robot Stories said that it was "Four stories with automatons as important characters...The last is the most touching, but all are skillfully made." [7]

Robot Stories received much praise for both the direction of the film and the director Greg Pak's talent himself. Variety magazine said "Greg Pak understands the short form well, mercifully avoiding blatant O'Henry twists while pulling off neat reversals of expertly set-up genre expectations."[8] and Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times wrote of Pak's directing in his review with saying that " The most startling aspect of Robot Stories is not the mix that the director built from spare parts left on the curb but the evolving dramatic acumen of its maker; he's a talent with a future."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robot Stories". BoxOfficeMojo. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Robot Stories: Awards". Robot Stories. Robot Stories. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Robot Stories". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  4. ^ Morris, Wesley. "'Robot Stories' lives and breathes". Boston Globe. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Hartlaub, Peter. "Robot Stories". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Fox, Ken. "'Robot Stories' NR, 2004". TV Guide. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Sterrit, David. "NEW RELEASES". Christian Science. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Scheib, Ronnie. "'Robot Stories'". Variety. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Mitchell, Elvis. "Soulful Androids Who Endure Those Cold Humans". New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 

External links[edit]