mayupdate The Machine Stops

a parable at the end of nature

The Machine Stops

full version (40min) - optional donate to support

The Machine Stops is a 40min film by Andrew Forster: a speculative fiction about the end of the world with libretto adapted from novelist E. M. Forster and decor by architect Le Corbusier, shot in Chandigarh, India. In The Machine Stops two stories of the future collide. A story written in 1909 (The Machine Stops) and a utopian city constructed in 1960s post-partition India (Chandigarh) become a reflection on an imaginary opposition of designed world and nature. This design versus nature struggle is part of a contemporary sense of crisis about the survival of a human-made world. In E. M. Forster's humanist pessimism, resistance to the machine is a heroic venture where a cultured ideal of nature and the body is a coherent surround, or source, or comfort. In this new work, Forster's nostalgia for an arcadian state of nature (a kind of global-colonial fantasy) morphs into a contemporary conundrum where there is no longer an outside 'nature' to escape to, or a coherent 'body' to claim as primal. A single character walks restlessly through the interior and exterior spaces of an empty modernist landscape. A story comes to mind.

[project background & video credits here]