After scientist Karl Brant (Pete Chekvala) is found murdered in his home, Detectives Tomaso (Jon Sklaroff) and Hostetler (Janina Gavankar) bring in Brant’s partner, Dr. Ferryman (Paul Reubens), for questioning. Dr. Ferryman reveals that the person they should really be talking to is the murdered Brant himself, which may be possible as the two scientists were developing a technology whereupon a person’s memories are uploaded to a hard drive, and their personality is recreated digitally. Since Brant was uploading his memories at the time of death, he might know what happened. Thus Dr. Ferryman and Detectives Tomaso and Hostetler turn on digital Brant to piece together the mystery of his murder.
M.F. Wilson’s short film The Final Moments of Karl Brant is an engrossing sci-fi experience. Not only does it tackle the idea of living forever digitally in a Singularity-friendly fashion, it also posits that who and what we are is entirely based on our memories. If a soul exists, it must be borne of life experiences.
Heady philosophical musings aside (you could have some fun with Nature vs. Nurture for a while too, among other things), the film is also a mystery, revealing its secrets with perfect timing. I was just as intrigued by who killed Karl Brant, and why, as I was interested in the ideas behind his digital resurrection.
The acting is wonderful all around, the film looks great, sounds great… the film is great. It introduces a complicated scenario without getting too exposition-heavy, and the film, for all its sci-fi leanings, could just as easily be considered neo-noir; all the pieces are there. I honestly cannot think of any area where the film did not excel.
And that, friends, is where we’re at with the brilliant The Final Moments of Karl Brant. It is a stunning sci-fi tale of a true ghost in the machine that had my mind going long after it wrapped up, and is an engaging experience from top to bottom. An incredible film and technological think piece. Just watch it already.
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