From Clockworks2
Jump to navigationJump to search

BUMBLEBEE. Travis Knight, dir. Christina Hodson (script and story). Michael Bay, one of five credited producers. Steve Spielberg, one of four credited executive producers.[1] USA: Paramount Pictures et al. (production and US distribution), 2018. See IMDb for complexities of production and distribution.[2] Characters and premise "based on Hasbro's Transformers action figures."

There are interesting instances of the technique of showing various everyday technologies to help locate the action in space (mostly California, in the Bay area) and time (1987); and cars and other vehicles are used with even more stress than usual in a California movie to provide information about characters and their development: notably, by film's end the Transformer Bumblebee has moved upscale from a VW bug.

Most relevant for the human/machine interface is a dynamic human/machine relationship or evolving set of relationships between the protagonist Charlie and Bumblebee. At various times in the movie, male-gendered Bumblebee (as Charlie insists, a "he," not an "it") is a father-substitute for Charlie as she moves into womanhood; at others, he is a toddler, child, or adolescent to her as a care-giver/mother. These shifts are handled without actual dialog from Bumblebee, since he has been severely injured and only slowly devises a way to speak by using brief clips from songs on his radio.

Also note that the SF visual motif/trope/meme — or cliché — of hexagons is decorous in a movie titled BUMBLEBEE with a lead character named "Bumblebee," with some visual hints of bumblebees in some of Bumblebee's forms, and who — Bumblebee — is introduced in the movie as a VW bug that is home to a nest of bees. Since Bumblebee is anthropomorphized and humanized to a high degree, the film provides connections among the machine, human, and insect.

RDE, Initial Compiler, 4Jan19