Although i didn’t make it to opening night, i did get to see Minority Report on opening weekend. Although i am not the biggest Tom Cruise fan and i get quite annoyed by Steven Spielberg, i was quite pleasantly surprised. The digital cinematography was fab – good lighting tricks, great filters, perfect layout, good use of fisheye and smart irregular dropping of frames. The plot was well done, although it had a bit of that A.I., let’s-add-on-extra-30-minutes feel, but this was much more bearable. I was quite psyched by the perfect timing of the release of a surveillance film, particularly with it’s thought-provoking take on how the public feels about it. There was a great homage to Stanley Milgram, where everyone stopped what they are doing to be accounted for – obedience to authority at its best. Given some of the corporate systems for eyescanning and finger printing, the big question is: how long until this is a reality? [The better question is, of course, will people rise up to say that this is unacceptable?]
Plus, of course, i appreciated the use of technology, mostly thanks to John Underkoffler. I have to imagine that Hiroshi was shitting his pants on Friday, watching all of his tangible research be pertified for the screen. Plus, i caught a neat little use of Ben Fry‘s Valence piece in an early scene. Yay for Media Lab work looking fab!
For those who are curious about the ML-related work, check out:
– electronic paper (i.e. the animated newspapers)
– laser wall (using lasers to detect hand motion mid-air)
– tangible media (sensor-based objects like the memory chips and balls, gesture work, etc.)
… there are more but this is what comes to mind… it’s just so great to see the research prettified…
All and all, i was quite entertained! [as was roger ebert]