Do Robot Tears Taste Like The Future?

The latest promo clip from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is moving, in a very weird way. Who knew crying robots could be so emotional?

Beautifully shot, this “advertisement” for the newest model of the android David, produced by Weyland Industries, a fictional mega-corporation at the center of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Prometheus, is the latest piece of the near-future world Scott is constructing, one concept video at a time.

Michael Fassbender’s David promises to make your organization more efficient, to do things his “human counterparts might find distressing, or unethical” as he grimaces in an almost-human way. He cries. But he feels no emotion. He’s an android. In the future! But a future you can actually imagine potentially becoming real, one that’s vaguely soothing, clean, almost bland. Where robots will replace you, when you’re not up to the task. (Grim undertones of now abound.)

The mixture of feelings inspired by near future concept videos like this one are a peculiar bag: part wonder, part knowing irony, part inverse nostalgia. It treads the line between potential reality and not-so-fiction(al), grounding itself enough in the hopes and fears and possibilities of right now, it’s hard not to feel something. Even if more of that emotion than you’d like is dread.

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