We teased it on Thursday and now the complete short film The Final Moments of Karl Brant is up on the Nerdist Channel and ready to overtake your memory. Written and directed by award-winning graphic novelist M.F. Wilson, The Final Moments of Karl Brant is part detective story, part slasher movie, and part theoretical futurism. Quite a lot going on for just 16 minutes.
The film stars Paul Reubens, being very non-Pee-wee Herman, as the scientist friend of the eponymous Brant (Pete Cheklava). Brant is working on a way to upload his memories into a computer in order to effectively reconstruct his consciousness in the virtual world. It appears someone wanted him dead for it. Two detectives (Janina Gavankar and Jon Sklaroff) are the ones investigating and the key to solving the case comes from a decidedly non-traditional source. But the question arises: at one point, in this new world, does a person stop being a person?
The science behind the story was pioneered in part by Ray Kurzweil, whose books “The Age of Intelligent Machines,” “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” and “The Singularity is Near” discuss the growing idea that artificial intelligence will one day (soon, it seems) be indistinguishable from human intelligence and that our own existence and longevity is tied to machines. Eventually, what it means to be human will depend on leaving behind physical bodies and existing within the artificial, and seemingly-infinite, virtual space. The mind, as they say, reels.
Science fiction is at its best when it’s about real science we haven’t quite achieved yet, and The Final Moments of Karl Brant has that in spades. Let us know what you think about the film and the ideas it’s putting forth in the comments below.