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Uncanny Valley Mention…Benjamin Button

2009 February 20
by Cat Durante

As I was walking out of class on Monday, I happened to be walking parallel to George who had embodied Valerie Solanas and we couldn’t help to express how much fun we just had. Yes, it was funny to see how these historical figures would conversate when put together (and really, where else would they be altogether?) but it was very enlightening to hear how everyone interacted. I found a lightbulb constantly going off in my head when I saw such a blatant gender and technology crossroad…especially between Ada Lovelave and Alan Turing. Everyone did a great job with their research and acting and I was happy to be apart of such an interesting discussion.

Despite enjoying myself on Monday, I couldn’t help but have a more engaging time on Wednesday. The characters really did embody gender crossing with technology physically, which I think made it easier for me to visualize what I had learned previously when reading the theory-rich texts. I know these panels marked a transition from technology gendering to gendering technology but I could see ideas from both topics in the second and I suppose the first panel as well. I keep drawing back to prp as Ada Lovelace and how she was engendered by technology such that she was a woman in a “man’s” realm and did not receive due credit but she also engender technology, adding such ideas that could be attributed to a woman. I saw the crossover in both topics as well which was really great.

I was just browsing imdb yesterday and they posted a great article with a short video that provided details about the special effects used to create Brad Pitt’s de-aging face in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The video is really cool and shows the graphical transition to what you see on screen but the article mentions the “uncanny valley” as a means to show how technology needs to be accurate in its recreation of the human being in order for others to consider it human. It’s a cool application of what we’ve been talking about and may eventually lead to actors becoming obsolete in movies. It seemed funny to me that though Benjamin Button is the main character in the film, Brad Pitt playing him had to undergo all of these technological advances to be him. Benjamin’s companion in the movie is Daisy played by Cate Blanchett. She ages significantly as well, yet she was not given the same tech treatment as Brad Pitt…just additional makeup. Perhaps Hollywood engenders technology too?


Building the Curious Faces of Benjamin Button

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