Gerard Mensah Case studies

Case Study 1

For all mankind – (1989) Al Reinert        


The documentary takes the audience on a journey of the Apollo missions from the perspective of the astronauts from 1968 -1972.

The film starts with the image of the moon and the President proclaiming “we choose to go the moon, we choose to go to the moon” to a rapturous applause.

For my research I have been looking at the reasons behind man’s need to travel in particular mans reasons to travel to the moon.

In the documentary the relationship between image and sound is edited so at times we hear interviews but we never see the people in real time doing the interview. This adds to the dramatic effect of the film with these stunning images of: a rocket taken off, earths view from space and the moons bumps and craters close up.

The astronauts try and paint a picture of the men behind the suit in this case the space suit. Most of the astronauts were also in the Royal Air Forces or the Navy, they explained that they found it hard to express emotions because of the training, environment etc. when these men are in space they realize how important and privileged they are to be representing mankind on these important missions and we see they are real people who let their guard down and we see them express fear, joy, anticipation.

Towards the end of the film we hear a quote from one of the astronauts on Apollo 15 “I realize there’s a fundamental truth to our nature man must explore.


It seems that it is in our nature to travel “if its there why not go and explore” seems to be motto

“We cosmonauts are like sailors. Sailors long for the high sea, and no sooner do they have solid ground beneath their feet than they’re already dream of heading out again.” Pg 48: Ujica


Case study 2

Moon – (2009) Duncan Jones


“Moon” is a science fiction film telling the story of the protagonist (Sam Bell) living on the dark side of the moon on a 3 year mission readying himself to come back home to reality to be with his wife and child on Earth. We later find out this is all an illusion and Sam Bell is one of many clones who has a memory implant and every few months or years (it’s hard to say) is replaced by another clone that wakes up with the illusion of heading back home in a few weeks or days.


The film is set in a space station on the moon where Sam works for a corporation that provides 70% of the earths clean energy he lives with a talking robot called Gerty who is Sam’s helper and Sam’s only friend on the moon.

One of the first things we hear within the first minute of the film is the statement “The power of the moon the power of our future” this sets the tone for the movie, the excitement and romanticism of travelling to and living on the moon. In reality the protagonist is trapped in a literal and figurative bubble the former being the space station he is in, being controlled by this big corporation that has already sent Sam home to his wife and child probably many years ago whether it was a clone or the “real” Sam we don’t know. The latter being Sam living in a fantasy thinking he’ll return to earth. Sam is sent pre recorded videos of messages from his wife and child which are played on repeat for each Sam that enters the space station after the previous one has been destroyed.


The film starts to build tension around the 20th minute when Sam suspects something isn’t right and goes against orders by leaving the space station and discovering another Sam. The relationship between the two Sam’s is an interesting journey we see them struggle with notions of who is the ‘real’ Sam, are there any more of us on thus space station, will we ever get home, are we being lied to.





Moon (2009) Duncan Jones U.S.A


For all mankind (1989) Al Reinert


In the Shadow of the moon (2007) David Sington





Science News , Vol. 96, No. 4 (Jul,1969),

On the Moon pp. 72-75

Society for Science & the Public


Sergei Krikalev, Andrei Ujica and Sara Ogger

(Winter, 2003),

Toward the End of Gravity I

Grey Room, No. 10 pp. 46-57

The MIT Press





Anthoy CrockettCase Study on The Matrix and Robocop.

Case study on the Film The Matrix And Robocop


The two films I will be looking is The Matrix and Robocop. Both film is a Sci Fi type of that involved the topic on Artificial Intelligence and Merging man with machines. These film are over ten year old and the futuristic topic is not far of from where we are today and it is close to the topic I am researching with modern day science and technology to help the human race live longer close to immortal.

There will be a difference when I record my voice directly on the first film I with writing about is The Matrix. A film about waking up from a dream world, the Matrix, and into the real world. Where Artificial Intelligence rule over most of the earth and grow humans begins to keep the race alive. The humans in that time are hybrids. Their bodies are merged with machines making them walking power source. The can plug themselves into the Matrix, virtual reality world, to find those who are ready to be waking up in the real world. The Matrix is like a video game, made up of codes in a programmed and has the basic rules like in the real world, like the rules of gravity but the rules can be bent.

Many people has wrote about the film in a philosophical view on what the film is really about and its meanings. Some people believe it is saying how people create their reality in what they believe in. some people are willing to accept things on how they appear. Or waking up from the world you believe in that you thought to be true and finding it hard to accept the reality, like a child finding out Father Christmas is just an illusion that was created by the parents. This relate to Neo taking to red pill, waking up and Morpheus telling him what is the real world and Neo fights to not let go on what he thought to be real and true.

I find this film relating to what is happening now and what scientist is planning on doing in the future. People live their lives through computers, social network sites, online computer games and online shopping and more. We are very much a digital society creating a digital profile online. The same thing happens in The Matrix. They plug themselves into the Matrix and upload what ever the need in the Matrix.

Futurists and scientists are trying to extend human existence and often talks about the singularity where computers get better and better every six months and soon computers will be as smart as humans and even smarter. This will be Artificial Intelligence that scientist are aiming for. A Futurist Ray Kurzweil is the head runners on making this happen and also plans on using artificial intelligence robots to help humans to live longer by merging them with are bodies. Like in The Matrix the people are part human and part machine. Ray Kurzweil future robots called nanobots, will live inside are blood stream and do the same jobs as the white blood cells killing viruses. Also they will be able to scan are brains and create a digital copy of our brains with are memories. Nanobots will be able to send signals to are brains and transport are mind online and into a virtual world where we want to go. Just like in The Matrix.

There are questions around the beginning and start of the middle of the film asking what is real and not real. The truth or just an illusion. Are they really humans where they are in the Matrix or just code that we make sense of it being human. Will we still be human if we live in a virtual world constantly? Will we still be human merge our self with machines so we can live longer near enough internal.

I am going to do an experiment on what is real and what we make sense that is real. Lot of people use technology to get in contact with people like email, telephone and now video calls. We say we are talking to Bob on the phone when in fact we are talking to a digital replica of bob voice. We make sense of that digital copy of Bob voice. Does it mean because it sounds like him on the phone, it is actually him? Does it mean it look like him on the screen that it is actually him?

I am going to record my voice straight on a recorder and then record my voice talking through my phone on loudspeaker compare the difference in sound of my voice.

The next film I choose to study on is the 1987 classic film Robocop. A film about a Detroit officer that gets killed by a gang of criminals. He then gets brought back to life as a machine. He is programmed to fight crime of Detroit and bring more peace in the city. The officer name before death was Murphy. Doctors pronounce him dead in hospital and an innovative scientist take a chance to try out this new project to solve the high crime rate. He merged his dead body with a machine that will be near enough immortal. When Robocop first wake up he has no memories of his pass life. His brain has ben wiped clean. And all he knows is that he is programmed to arrest criminals of Detroit. He has no free will. His decision-making is restricted, he can’t make decisions that will go against what he is not programmed to do.

To be human, having free will is part of being human. Being able to choose what you want to do or not do. Choose to break the law or not. Some physicists, like Einstein, believe that we don’t really have free will. Albert Einstein believe that free will is just an illusion. What is going to happen in the future has already been preordained to happen if you look at the Newton’s laws of physics. However Hiesnberg put his principle of the uncertainty. So with free will we do have some sort of free will because there is always a possibility of uncertainty in what we are going to do. “No one can determine your future events given your past history,” Said Michio Kaku in a clip on You Tube called Why physics ends the Free Will debate.

Having some sort of free will make us human. Robocop has none. We see this at the near end of the film where Dick Jones, Head of OCB that runs the police force, is guilty of aiding and abetting and Robocop comes to bring him to justice. But Robocop is programmed to shut down if he is about to kill or arrest an member of the force. The human side of him has that free will to track him down and the compute system is the barrier to stop from completing his mission. Its is only when Dick Jones is fired and Robocop has access to shot him.

There still parts of Murphy inside of Robocop. Fragments of memories of his past life. He is able to access some of them and piece them together to get a picture what his was like. He has memories of his house, wife and son. In a scene where Robocop is with Murphy ex police partner, Officer Lewis, Robocop refer to Murphy in third person, after his partner said “it really nice to see you Murphy,” but Robocop replies “ Murphy had a wife and son, What happen to them,” like Murphy does not exist anymore. The personality of Murphy is gone. Just an emotionless machine is present. Robocop speak of human emotion by saying I can feel them but I can’t member them. I believe this is a mistake on the dialog on the actor part that wasn’t corrected. Previous we saw that Robocop has memories that was being played back of his wife and son in their house, so we know that he remembers them. I feel the correct line was or should have been, “I can remember them but I can’t feel them”. This will show that he is just an machine and has no human emotion. Never the less he did told his partner to leave him alone in a sense that he was feeling some sort of emotion to Murphy’s family.

Neuro Scientist believe that there no spiritual soul that drive the human body and give us our personality. Its are brain which contains memories and the knowledge that we gain in life that create our personality our uniqueness to others. And they believe that we will still be the same person if our brains were taking out and put into a machine. Some people believe we won’t be the same. In some cases with people with memory loss after an accident but manage to remember everything over time they take n a new personality to the ones they had before. Our memories and information in our heads, shapes our personality but I don’t think don’t think it creates our personality and our soul.

If we were to be part machines what restrictions will we have? I will expect that we will have something programmed to stop us from having our human free will. We be restricted mentally but how about physically? The human body can move in so many unique ways. Will we move in the same way if we are made out of metal? There are so many unclear answers to question and it seemed there’s a heavy price to becoming immortal. We saw the price Murphy had to pay to be still exist on earth.

I produce an Experiment on my voice seeing of recorder and when I spoke through the phone when the phone is on loudspeaker on the other end and recording it. I found that there is a big difference in my voice when I was on loudspeaker. The obvious difference was the volume and the clarity of my voice. The phone recreating the sound of my voice lost some parts of my voice. However it wasn’t a good experiment. I wanted to test my actual voice to a digital replica of my voice. What I did was tested a digital replica of my voice to a replica of a replica of my voice but I and I’m sure other people will make sense of the voice that it is me when it is not.



The Matrix 1999

Directed by the Wachowski brothers, Written by Andy and Lana Wachoski


Robocop 1987

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Written by Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner

Michio Kaku: Why Physics Ends the Free Will Debate

As Humans and Computers Merge… Immortality?

Ray Kurzweil On Immortality

Aubrey De Grey – Technological Singularity fact or fiction?

Michio Kaku: The Intelligence Revolution

Human Enhancement