What happens when robots want to become humans? Well, the sh*t pretty much hits the fan, as portrayed in Electroma (DVD; Vice, 2008), a film by French duo Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo).
The flick opens with beautiful scenery of the desert southwest United States, where we're introduced to our protagonists Hero Robot # 1 and Hero Robot # 2 (played by actors Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich, respectively), dressed as our favorite gold- and silver-helmeted robots. Our heroes get into a sweet, black 1987 Ferrari (sporting a license plate that reads “human”) and travel through the desert, ultimately ending up in a small town in Inyo County, Calif., which is populated solely with robots. After said heroes go to a weird high-tech laboratory to transform themselves into humans (in a bizarre scene involving liquid latex, wigs and prosthetics), they stroll down the streets of town with their new faces (creepy, à la Aphex Twin's “Come to Daddy” video), only to discover that the town locals don't take kindly to these “humans.” We won't reveal the ending, but let's just say that for these robots, life as humans isn't full of puppy dogs and flowers. The music featured in the film isn't by Daft Punk; however, it's absolutely fitting (with tracks from Todd Rundgren and Brian Eno). And while the film has no dialog, it is rife with stunning cinematography and cool filming techniques that help build the tension nicely toward the end, where we get to see “crazy circuit face.” Snag this one from Vice July 22.