[ExI] Favorite ~H+ Movies

Joseph Bloch joseph at josephbloch.com
Fri Jun 22 22:33:59 UTC 2007

There really are so few movies that I would qualify as transhumanist in
nature. Books and short stories aplenty, but movies? Ordinary futuristic
sci-fi doesn't cut it, for me at least, for the same reason that I don't
equate "ordinary" futurism with Transhumanism.

I would even say that Bladerunner (much as I enjoy it, and agree about the
value of the Director's Cut) doesn't make it for me, since it doesn't deal
with any sort of change in humanity per se, but only humanity's exterior
tools. (Although I suppose it could be argued that the Replicants themselves
are the real post-humans in that world, even if they have their own

I would probably nominate "Charly" (the 1968 adaptation of the short story
"Flowers for Algernon"). The theme of intelligence augmentation tips it into
the >H category for me, and it's a damn poignant portrayal. 

I actually enjoyed "Johnny Mnemonic" (1995), even though it didn't fare so
well with some critics. Ditto with "Gattaca" (1997). 

One that I might consider borderline are the "X-Men" movies (2000, 2003,
2006). I say borderline because I usually see >H as something deliberate,
and (with the exception of Magneto's device in the first film) the mutant
powers are portrayed as the product of natural evolution. Sort of the
ultimate punctuation of evolutionary equilibrium. 

Alas, I still pine for a really good, deliberately >H film. I'd do
handsprings for one that was actually pro-transhumanist in its portrayal,
but I'm afraid supermen make too good a villain for that to happen any time


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of A B
> Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 3:17 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: [ExI] Favorite ~H+ Movies
> Boy, things have been tense around here lately. We
> should be entitled to a little fun once in a while,
> right? I thought it would be fun to make a list of our
> favorite semi-transhumanist movies. This written
> medium can sometimes be somewhat dry, and difficult to
> express and share positive emotions with each other.
> It may sound cheesy, but perhaps by sharing our
> favorite movies, we could more easily recognize some
> of the more fundamental feelings and aspirations
> between us. [Maybe we could also suggest favorite
> music pieces, but I'll let that begin on someone
> else's initiative.]
> For my contribution, I recommend:
>  * Original Director's Cut of "Bladerunner".
> You must see the original Director's Cut or you
> haven't seen the movie... sorry :-) Sure, it's a
> dark-future themed movie, and it is slightly cheesy in
> a few spots, but it does have some truly moving and
> profound moments, in my opinion. I fully recommend it,
> overall.
> Sincerely,
> Jeffrey Herrlich

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