Hollywood has a long history with sci-fi films that explore artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. Starting with 1927’s Metropolis, classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, to modern hits like Ex Machina and The Matrix, have offered meaningful and entertaining reflections on what it means to be alive. Now A24 has a new entry in the genre. And the trailer for After Yang starring Colin Farrell promises a quiet and moving meditation on truly being alive. In a story that leans into the spiritual nature of existence for both man and machine.
After Yang comes from South Korean filmmaker Kogonada (Columbus). He also wrote the film’s screenplay. It’s based on a short story by Alexander Weinstein. The movie also stars Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim), Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, and Haley Lu Richardson. This trailer offers a better look at the general ethos of the story than the plot. The film’s official synopsis fills in some of the gaps. From A24:
When his young daughter’s beloved companion — an android named Yang — malfunctions, Jake searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter across a distance he didn’t know was there.
After Yang’s trailer is excellent and evocative. It has an ethereal look and tone that feels as much like a fantasy as it does a science fiction movie. And the early sings point to the film living up to the promise of this trailer. After Yang premiered last July at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival where it garnered praise from most critics. It arrives in US theaters on March 4th. That’s when it will also be available to stream on Showtime.
If this is as good as we think it will be, it will then take its place in one of sci-fi’s best subgenres.