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Sundance’s ‘The Pod Era: Director Sophie Barthes on AI, Way forward for Motherhood, Relationship to Know-how and Nature

In Sophie Barthes’ third characteristic, sci-fi satire “The Pod Era,” which performs within the Premieres strand on the Sundance Movie Competition, the French-born director explores AI, commodification, motherhood and our relationship to each expertise and nature, in addition to criticizing progress, consumerism and our lifestyle.

“The Pod Era,” which Barthes additionally wrote and exec produced is the Alfred P. Sloan Function Movie Prize Winner, and follows Rachel (Emilia Clarke) and Alvy (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a New York couple who’re able to take their relationship to the following stage and begin a household, embarking on a being pregnant journey through removable synthetic wombs.

“Though we conceived the expertise, it must be right here to assist us, however I truly suppose it is making us disconnect from our instincts” Barthes tells Selection. “We are likely to put a lot religion now in the truth that expertise can achieve this many issues for us. However then each time we hand over one thing, for comfort sake, we lose part of ourselves as human beings.”

The concept for “The Pod Era” got here to Barthes in “surreal desires” when she was pregnant together with her first baby round 13 years in the past, “Going by means of giving beginning in New York was very surreal. It is also nearly seen as a illness; that you need to eliminate the being pregnant as if it have been an inconvenience or one thing, as an alternative of celebrating motherhood and the truth that being pregnant is a robust factor that brings you an unimaginable expertise,” she says.

She provides: “I used to be like: ‘Okay, perhaps it will be tremendous handy to not be pregnant for 9 months and simply be like males, outsource the factor and pay for it, and it is all taken care of.’ However what are we dropping within the course of as ladies? I am not saying ladies must be pregnant if they do not need to, however you are going to lose the truth that it’s an immense energy to present beginning, and I feel males even have a form of envy [of that].”

The expertise within the pic is all VFX, created by Brussels-based VFX firm Benuts. Pushed by her love for “hand-made” sci-fi as seen within the movies of Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, all of whom she admires, the pods within the movie have been made with “little technological enter” and loads achieved in digicam. When it comes to aesthetics, Barthes opted for a female strategy, stating that “lots of science fiction may be very male. It is often very rectangular and it is all white or it is all black and I wished to make sci-fi that had pastel colours and the place the shapes have been spherical,” she says, including she discovered inspiration in late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid’s curvy designs in addition to French cubist painter Marie Laurencin and American modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe “as a result of I really like her palette of colours and lots of the flowers she painted are I feel allegories of the uterus and the womb.”

The assorted generations – millennials, X, Z, and so forth. – in addition to the New York Metropolis pods throughout the pandemic when folks “podded” sparked the thought for the pic’s title, which the director remembers was “Eggs” within the growth stage. “What about this subsequent technology? As a result of all the pieces within the movie is in pods – the character is in a pod, the infants are in pods…,” she inquires.

Barthes says she has researched AI loads and is “fairly obsessive about it and our relationship to it,” which is why her subsequent undertaking can also be about AI She additionally has a “surreal biopic” about American realist painter Edward Hopper and his spouse Josephine Hopper within the pipeline.

The producers are Nadia Kamlichi, Geneviève Lemal, Yann Zenou and Martin Metz for Quad Movies and Scope Photos. MK2 handles worldwide gross sales with CAA Media Finance co-representing US gross sales.

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