Making its debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival last week, Sayonara made history for being the first ever film to accredit an actual android as its leading star, receiving the same treatment normally only reserved for human actors. Starring Geminoid F, an android designed by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, the film takes place in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic future Japan and, for some reason, Geminoid F finds herself bound to a wheelchair.
Set in a unknown future during a nuclear fallout, a nationwide famine has struck Japan as a result of radioactive contamination. Sick and alone, a young woman befriends a wheelchair-bound android (starring Geminoid F), finding comfort in their companionship in a world that is both divided and falling apart.
Sayonara may appear to be one of your typical dystopian sci-fi films, but its intent isn’t so much at being original in storyline, rather to be original in how the storyline is conveyed. Could this mark the beginning of robotic actors taking over the international film industry? Perhaps, but actors and actresses alike needn’t worry though. Technological unemployment shouldn’t affect the film industry for quite a while. Then again…maybe it will!
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Sayonara‘s eagerness to introduce an accredited android actor into the film making scene certainly raises several questions, for instance: how well is Geminoid F’s acting skills?; how do people feel about the idea of an android being treated equally as that of her fellow human actors and actresses?; and most importantly, does this mark the beginning of more androids reaching into the limelight of Hollywood films in the near future?
Whatever the answers may be, I’m quite ecstatic that we’ve at least introduced one android in the film industry and is being treated as an equal. Unlike the dystopian nightmare setting of which makes up Sayonara, Geminoid F’s presence and treatment in the making of this film certainly points to a future quite the contrary!
Photo Credit: Gizmodo