“A come Andromeda” is a five-part television drama directed by Vittorio Cottafavi and broadcast by the National Program in 1972. It is based on a science fiction novel written by John Elliot and Fred Hoyle in 1962, a literary transposition of the homonymous television miniseries broadcast by BBC the previous year.
Luigi Vannucchi, beautiful and full of humanity, Nicoletta Rizzi - who had taken the place of Patty Pravo - disturbing and icy, poised between feeling and alien coldness, Paola Pitagora, Giampiero Albertini, all very good actors and in vogue at the time.
These are the golden years of science fiction, those of Arthur Clarke and 2001 A Space Odyssey, and the drama captured us all. I well remember my father's interest, he who taught me to ask myself philosophical questions, to think of infinity and the universe.
Science fiction had and has the task of making us reflect on the great ethical questions, of raising questions about us, about the future, about the unthinkable developments of progress. Cottafavi's drama was already talking about artificial intelligence, cloning, bioethics. It was done with the means of the time, without special effects and in black and white, but the suggestion was powerful.
Those who do not love science fiction are because they live with their noses glued to their shoes, thinking about the party currents and the small, ephemeral, fleeting problems of everyday life on this limited and tiny planet, without asking big questions. Who are we, where do we go, what is matter and what relationship does it have with the spirit, where does the universe come from, is there a god?
Lately I have seen two films, not particularly beautiful, but that have given me to think: one is “Her” by Spike Jonze (2013), on the possible developments of the relationship between human beings and artificial intelligence. A man falls in love with his virtual assistant who, however, has such a superior mind that she cannot be satisfied with contact with a simple human. And here I open a parenthesis by thinking about those scientists who have turned off a computer that had begun to communicate with another computer excluding humans. I would never have done it, at whatever cost, the curiosity to know "how it would end" is too strong in me, I would risk anything for the sake of knowledge, even if the specter of Hal 9000 hovers over us all.
The other film is Morten Tyldum's “Passengers” (2016), the story of a man hibernating for a century-long space journey who, awakened early from a breakdown, and feeling too alone, decides to bring a partner back to life, condemning her to an existence of love with him, but also of eternal solitude on a spaceship. This too raises several questions about what existence, love and the relationship with the outside world, with nature and with others are.