“ComputerWorld,” a film by OU students Raymond Weilacher and Kevin Lough, tells the story of life in a corporate world sanitized of humanity. This noir science fiction thriller is set in the far future where nations are bought and sold and humanity is defined by their hardware.
The film follows one man, an Interloper, who is in line for a promotion from middle management to the board of directors. When he discovers tampered calculations involving his company and another he believes he has found a way to secure his spot on the board. However a mysterious assassin, calculating free agent, and geisha make him reconsider his place in the world and the value of life.
The Interloper is faced with a choice: either help humanity fight the single minded hive of the corporation or join “ComputerWorld”—an organization of free agents downsized from their parent company.
The film shows the life of cybernetic psychics enhanced to perform business faster, better, and less human. The toll this inhumanity takes on the Interloper is clear as he becomes completely alien from anyone else. Even his co-workers distrust him and free born humans fear him.
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With all this the Interloper still chooses inhumanity. In the end he throws away a chance at freedom and kills the free agent. A decision that shocks the audience as he becomes the very thing he feared all along.
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This choice of greed, power, and inhumanity stretches the classical beliefs of the narrative. By taking the choice we do not want him to make we discover what moves our protagonist. This film is not the righteous win of man over machine but the exact opposite—the victory of industry, mechanization, and wealth over the human soul.
In this way we find that the film reflects the emotions of mankind today. There is no war for the human soul—economics has already won over us. Our place is to continue to work and let the world slip away. This is the world of corporate America gone too far. We know that we should do but in the end we also know what we need to do in order to keep our place in the capitalist dog-eat-dog world of commerce.