Spiderhead And A New Era Of Tech Geniuses In Film

There was a period when people who were called “genius” in a film had a distinct style. They were often eccentric, with characteristics based on the 20th Century’s concept of super-intelligence Albert Einstein. In Back to the Future, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) also has Einstein’s hairy grin. In The Fly, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) shares his habit of wearing the same outfit daily to save brainpower.

Geniuses were typically home tinkerers who were naive and uninterested in the complexities of the day. On the other end of the spectrum, they were post-hippy idealists like Kevin Flynn ( Jeff Bridges) in Tron and who were at odds with corporate villains trying to destroy their dream. But the latest talent to grace our screens is quite a different animal. In actuality, he’s Chris Hemsworth.

For Joseph Kosinski‘s new film, Spiderhead, Hemsworth plays Steve Abnesti, a scientist and pharmaceutical genius who has developed a range of drugs that alter your emotions. On an island, Abnesti tests these drugs on prisoners like Jeff ( Miles Teller), who is enrolled in the program to be free of the traditional prison system.

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When the character of Hemsworth flies in by seaplane to his isolated isle (filmed in Queensland, Australia), it’s obvious that he’s an entirely distinct person from the dull professors of the past. Amnesty is more of an actual Bond villain. The prison he is in is a concrete castle that is designed to look like male genitals. Inside there is an “open door” policy for the prisoners to have snacks, arcade games, and ping-pong in a setting that evokes those mythical offices of tech giants. But, with the Muzika versions of Steely Dan and Abnesti’s motivational messages blaring through the speakers, the space is reminiscent of the hospital scene from The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Abnesti certainly isn’t one of those geniuses fighting “the man.” He is the man, but Abnesti doesn’t want anyone to know. He keeps track of birthdays and needles Jeff about when he handed his afro powder. It was a comically passive-aggressive strategy to make himself appear to be a “cool boss.” His self-promotional chants of creating better world echos the words of many tech-savvy leaders of today. He is the untouchable face of the super wealthy -the speedboat, remote home, and the perfect smile, and it covers a middlebrow passion for yacht music and some serious issues with his father. Abnesti is known for his quirky moments, like self-referentially singing Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” amid an experiment. However, Abnesti is not Doc Brown. All of him seems geared to be ready for the day the company is listed in the market.

Hemsworth is a great choice for the role of Abnesti Hemsworth brings all of his charisma to the character that could be the stereotypical mad scientist. “The beautiful people get away with too much,” He tells Jeff when a beautiful prisoner shows up late for an experiment. He then admits he’s responsible for the same. Oscar Isaac was equally compelling as an individual talent in the film Ex Machina.

In the film, Isaac’s pursuit of artificial intelligence suggests that he was of creating a life for his own pleasure. And then there’s the exact image of a contemporary technology wizard, Tony Stark ( Robert Downey Jr.). Stark is a former weapons hustler with the most exemplary of intentions. However, his overprotective desires often cause tragedies. In fact, Mark Ruffalo‘s sympathetic scientists, Bruce Banner and Louis Read ( The Adam Project), are plagued by emotional issues that threaten their work. The new actors in science roles might be more popular than ever before. However, they’re also more complicated.

In contrast to Thor’s dopey humor, Hemsworth brings driven and shrewdness to Abnesti even though his emotion-altering drugs are unquestionably doubtful. With name brands like “Luvactin,” they have the power to make individuals perceive beauty in places where there isn’t the case or to create extreme fear, all operated by a phone application. The vast military and commercial applications are clear. Abnesti confronts his trusted associate, Verlaine ( Mark Paguio), for being too small-minded when he proposes “Laffodil” be sold to comedy clubs. In the movie’s final moments, after Abnesti’s tactics become more oppressive, Jeff asks Verlaine why they would want to be a part of a group like this. “There are so few geniuses,” is the answer.

A cautionary tale about an impressive tech leader, Spiderhead is sure to be reminiscent of Elizabeth Holmes ( Amanda Seyfried) in The Dropout. Like Abnesti, Holmes disguises her illegal activities using a polished presentation and the appearance of sound science. Holmes has a large following of followers who have embraced her personality cult and are enticed by the possibility of working alongside an honest genius.

Abnesti is also hiding behind a fake “protocol committee” to excuse his deceit and performs tests that are flawed in their scientific methodology. As with Holmes and Holmes, he’s stuck on the path leading to fame or the courtroom. “This is frontier stuff,” the man tells Verlaine in the process to justify his use of the mind-shattering “Darkenfloxx.” In one interesting conversation with Jeff, he acknowledges that the institution is as much jail for him as it is for the people who are being tested. There’s no way back.

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Based on a short story written by Lincoln, a Bardo writer, George SaundersSpiderhead‘s source material was prescient when it used the concept of drug testing as a metaphor for manipulating mobile and social media. In Spiderhead, it is clear that the goal of manipulating emotions hides a more sinister purpose — the shady control of thought and the development of a compliant and tolerant citizen. In addition, the subjects of the tests have to sign “acknowledge” before the drugs are administered, which is a phrase straight from the conditions and terms of our applications. In a moment that is a moment of reflection, Jeff asks himself, “Why do we keep saying yes?”

The testing set evokes earlier research like that of the Stanford Prison Experiment and the work of Stanley Milgram, which probed the test subjects’ capacity to comply with instructions. The results showed they would be more receptive in the correct conditions and, with a dependable person in authority to make the decisions (such as an engineer or prison guard), would eventually become completely obedient. But Amnesty is a more contemporary manipulator, and his tactics are more subtle. In many ways, he’s comparable to the character of Richard Attenborough‘s John Hammond in Jurassic Park, A businessman whose plans for commercializing the scientifically-based product outweigh any ethical aspects.

Abnesti can also be described as a shadow of Flynn in Tron by appropriating an ancient language used in the current age to cover up cynical motives. Abnesti talks about peace, love, and improving our world with his technology. We’ve heard the exact phrases from the tech leaders of the real world as they sit before various committees to defend their innovations and the havoc they’ve created. They’re more like the old Flynn in Kosinski’s Tron The Legacy, creators whose creations have surpassed their authority. The only thing left is retrospect, a justification for some very bad decisions.

Ultimately, the new kind of genius we see in movies reflects our unhappy relationship with those who control technology. They’re, at best, anti-heroes and not heroic figures like Einstein as well as Doc Brown, although perhaps this was never a true imagination. In the end, Albert Einstein’s findings opened the way to the atomic bomb. It’s simpler to return in time rather than putting that bottle back in its place. The choice of stars with magnetic powers like Hemsworth and Seyfried to depict these modern science-based magnates is a realistic representation of how they make them in reality. For Elizabeth Holmes, the status of “genius” was a complete illusion, backed by the use of a lot of money and powerful friends.

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Today’s brilliant visionaries on the screen have more star power than bizarre past characters, undoubtedly recognizing their rising standing. They’re the billionaires of the future whose lives we only fantasize about. The homemade inventions of Back to the Future and Honey I shrunk the Kids resulted in amazing scenarios. They can be repaired eventually. The innovations of our new technological geniuses, both on screen and in real life, have devastating consequences that are more difficult to fix.

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