Ex Machina and the death of the sexbot

EX MACHINA, Alicia Vikander, 2015. ©A24

[Major spoilers for Ex Machina]

There is so much that could be endlessly dissected and discussed in Alex Garland’s 2014 masterpiece, but one thing I particularly spent a lot of time thinking about after first watching Ex Machina was the dichotomy of it as yet another film that sexualizes its female AI, but one that uses that both explicitly and implicitly as commentary on gender and how men perceive women. The important nuance here is that the sexualization is consciously imposed on Ava by the film’s two male characters: It is never something inherent in or defining of her, but a view that the men project onto her.

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