Numerous recent films understand ultimate reality to be multi-layered. This article examines the various formulas films use to express this idea, such as heaven, dreams, technology, temporal loops and altered mental states, while also exploring the various religious and philosophical traditions on which these "ultimate reality films" draw. Next, I suggest a postmodern framework as a way of accounting for the ubiquity of the reality theme across filmic genres and I argue that film is a unique medium for expressing this epistemology. Finally, I turn to an extensive analysis of A.I. as a case study of a postmodern, multivalent "ultimate reality film" and illuminate nine possible endings that combine myth, religion, Freud and Jung with themes of technology and ontological identity.
"Robot Heavens and Robot Dreams: Ultimate Reality in A.I. and Other Recent Films,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 7:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol7/iss2/7