|Doomsday Book (2012)|
|Director:||Kim Ji-woon and Yim Pil-sung|
|Writers:||Yim Pil-sung, Lee Hwan-hee, Kim Ji-woon, and Jang Jong-ah|
|Starring:||Ryu Seung-beom, Kim Kang-woo, Song Sae-byok, and a cameo by Bae Doona|
Heavenly Creature is the second story within the film and is directed by Kim Ji-woon. A science fiction tale that crosses paths with spirituality, the story seems patently ridiculous from the outset. The question of whether Buddha could be reincarnated into a robot seems rather silly, even in the confines of a science fiction title. Why a soul would be born into a non-living creature, I have no idea. Ultimately, it seems as if Woon’s short deals primarily with many ideas relating to human interaction in a world where technology seems to be taking over all facets of humanity. This vision of the future is both filled with classical Korean culture, but also has the look of a sanitized world that we might envision within our future. This futuristic landscape and the ideas presented in the film are not entirely unique, but the combination of the philosophical ideas put forth along with the dichotomic imagery and questions makes this one very worthwhile.
The idea of a robot replacing the human form, or even becoming spiritual, isn’t a new concept, but it has good reason for being a road that is so well traveled within science fiction history. This short certainly piqued my own curiosity, because I often find myself thinking about the way technology and mechanics can so easily be related to the human form. It seems as if all facets of technology are directly related to mankind’s own attempt at understanding itself. Electrical wiring can easily be seen as a manmade attempt at replicating a biological neuron, but done on a much larger scale. If you look at the connection that our nerves make at the spine, I personally see a heavy resemblance to ribbon cables like those found in a computer. If voltage were the life force of a mechanical item, then it could also surely be seen as a synonym for the veins found in an animal. So, if man were ever able to decipher all of the mysteries that define humanity’s self awareness, then who is to say it couldn’t be harnessed at some point via a technological means. Yet, the question then remains about the ethics around artificially creating self-aware individuals. In the film, there becomes an immediate backlash towards a robotic creature attaining a higher artistic or spiritual edge in comparison to its human counterparts, but the short seems to argue in favor of a progressive way of thinking when it comes to these issues – however, the argument ultimately remains up in the air.