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Smart Robots, Mortal Engines: Stanislaw Lem on Film
Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, nanotechnology, trans-humanism: Polish author Stanislaw Lem was thinking and writing about today’s hot topics many decades ago.
Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006) wrote across genres: horror, detective procedurals, semi-autobiographical realism, essays. But in the West, he is best known for his science fiction, a realm inhabited by robots, cyborgs and intelligent machines of all varieties. Much of his work is concerned with the encounter of human and artificial intelligence; through these close encounters, he asks questions about the nature of intelligence, humanity, and the self.
Lem’s novels and stories have inspired – and continue to inspire – numerous filmmakers, most famously Andrei Tarkovsky with his 1972 adaptation of Solaris. Curated by Barbican Cinema in partnership with Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, this season presents a selection of the lesser-known adaptations.
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