Robot and Frank
Featuring:Peter Sarsgaard, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon
Event date:Wed, 20/03/2013
Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck at a heist.
Articles on this film:
A major point of interest for medical sociologists is the relationship between public understandings of illness and disease and the wider cultural preoccupations of our society. Memory problems and cognitive impairment in later life represent two of contemporary western societies’ biggest anxieties: old age and mental illness. Often representations of illnesses in popular culture, politics and the media can tell us more about the society we live in than the nature of the disease itself. Accounts of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, particularly from politicians and in the
Set in the near future, the film “Robot and Frank” deals with how Frank and his family deal with his decline into dementia. With only the options of robot care or being placed in the ‘Brain Centre’ available to Frank, clearly in this future, a cure or an effective treatment for dementia has not yet been developed. Unfortunately, this is a major problem that we’re facing right now, with 35 million dementia sufferers worldwide, and as a result of increasing longevity, this figure is set to double every 20 years.
Robot: The truth is I don’t care if my memory is erased or not. Frank: But how can you not care about something like that? Robot: Think about it this way: you know that you are alive. You think therefore you are...in a similar way I know that I am not alive. I am a robot.
Dr Chris Groves
Why does Frank wipe Robot’s memory? This is a central question in a film which, in many ways, is about a man’s relationship with an ambiguous, even uncanny object – and therefore is a film that invites us to think about what philosophers might call the phenomenology of objects, that is, how objects of certain help to structure our conscious experience of the world, and their meaning within it.