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The BBC's Tom Brook
reports from the AI premiere
 real 56k

Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Spielberg's sci-fi fantasy AI premières
Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law
Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law play robots
By New York entertainment correspondent Tom Brook

Stars turned out for the world première of one of America's most eagerly awaited summer film releases, Steven Spielberg's AI Artificial Intelligence.

The picture, which has been shrouded in secrecy, began life as a project in the hands of the late director Stanley Kubrick.

Spielberg agreed to direct the film after Kubrick died in 1999.

The film's major stars include British actor Jude Law and Sixth Sense's Haley Joel Osment.

Haley Joel Osment and Steven Spielberg
Haley Joel Osment said it was fun working with director Spielberg
The world première of AI was a major event - it is a film in which Steven Spielberg has made a big personal investment.

He wrote the screenplay, his first in more than 20 years, and directed this sci-fi fantasy which the late Stanley Kubrick had long nurtured and intended to make.

It is a picture that brings together the work of two great directors - Jude Law says there is a lot of Kubrick left in the film.

The 28-year-old said: "I hope he would be proud not just that his film was made but that his friend made his film.

"It has a lot of what Stanley Kubrick was about.

"It felt a lot of the time like we were looking back over his career."

Child robot

Set in the future AI is a dark tale of a child robot called David who looks human.

He the first robot child in the world programmed with the ability to love.

But he is dumped by his adoptive human parents and forced to fend for himself.

The pivotal role of David is played by 13-year-old child star Osment, who said the film "has a lot of meanings on a lot of different levels".

Haley Joel Osment
Osment made his name "seeing dead people" in Sixth Sense

The first half of the film dealing with the child robot and his relationship with his human family seems on the surface to resemble a Stanley Kubrick picture.

Once the child is out on his own longing to reconnect with his human mother it enters more traditional Spielberg territory.

Child abandonment

AI is packed with fantastic creatures like Gigolo Joe - a robot, played by Law, designed to cater to the sexual needs of the human population.

But with its themes of child abandonment and robot torture AI is not exactly a feel good fantasy - it aims to have a deeper meaning.

The hype surrounding AI has been tremendous - one of the film's backers has declared it a milestone in the history of cinema - but some American critics have been more sober in their assessment of the picture.

While some reviewers have gushed others have described the film as problematical - that it engrosses without quite enthralling.

Although Spielberg may not have created a masterpiece the general view is that he had delivered an artistic endeavour.

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