Today we have a new trailer for filmmaker Kogonada’s latest After Yang, based on a short story by Alexander Weinstein. You can watch the trailer using the player below.
Kogonada’s debut film, Columbus, starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. After Yang had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 8, 2021.
When Yang — a lifelike, artificially intelligent android that Jake and Kyra buy as a companion for their adopted daughter — abruptly stops functioning, Jake just wants him repaired quickly and cheaply.
But having purchased Yang “certified refurbished” from a now-defunct store, he’s led first to a conspiracy theorist technician and then a technology museum curator, who discovers that Yang was actually recording memories.
Jake’s quest eventually becomes one of existential introspection and contemplating his own life, as it passes him by.
An aesthete at heart, Kogonada only vaguely hints at the futuristic science fiction setting (and accompanying climate catastrophe), instead crafting a serene, meditative, compassionate story that inverts the trusted theme of robots exploring what it means to be human, by showing a human trying to understand this artificial being who was part of his family.
Punctuated with humor and joyousness, After Yang’s quiet power lies in its timely contemplation of how we create meaning and experience loss.
Here is description of Weinstein’s short story: “After Yang introduces readers to a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and alarmingly intuitive robots.
“Many of these characters live in a utopian future of instant connection and technological gratification that belies an unbridgeable human distance, while others inhabit a post-collapse landscape made primitive by disaster, which they must work to rebuild as we once did millennia ago.
“In After Yang, the robotic brother of an adopted Chinese child malfunctions, and only in his absence does the family realize how real a son he has become.
“After Yang, previously published as Children of the New World, grapples with our unease in this modern world and how our ever-growing dependence on new technologies has changed the shape of our society.
“Alexander Weinstein is a visionary new voice in speculative fiction for all of us who are fascinated by and terrified of what we might find on the horizon.”
The film stars Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Ema Tjandrawidjaja and Haley Lu Richardson.
Are you guys excited to check out After Yang when it opens in theaters and streams on Showtime on March 4? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @vitalthrillscom.