Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous and Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow are both sci-fi films that tackle a very similar question — can humans achieve immortality through technology? The pursuit of immortality is a quest that humanity has been on since the beginning of history. Writings of a fountain of youth appear in the works of Herodotus in 5th century BC. This fascination with beating death seems like an increasingly real possibility with new advances in medical technology every day. Immortality has also been a theme in film throughout the years. Raiders of the Lost Ark involves characters searching for the Holy Grail in order to acquire the power of God. Advantageous and World of Tomorrow both include major plot points in which a character (or characters) puts their consciousness into another host.
The plot of Advantageous removes around a woman making a decision to put her mind into a younger, prettier body in order to keep her job as a spokeswoman. The transfer causes her relationship with her daughter to crumble. According to Advantageous, chasing immortality does more harm than good. Only in the closing shots of the film do they appear to be on the path to healing. Advantageous holds a microscope to relationships and the effects that chasing immortality has on the people around you.
In World of Tomorrow, humankind has developed the technology to impregnate themselves with a clone themselves and transfer their mind into the clone. Another kind of consciousness-transfer technology in World of Tomorrow is the transfer of a person’s mind into a small cube. Within the first few minutes, the film shows the torture a human mind goes through inside the tiny cube. In a truly terrifying moment, the audience sees thousands of these cubes being launched into space, presumably for eternity. According to World of Tomorrow, the cloning technology has caused the erosion of the human species. Like Advantageous, World of Tomorrow warns against pursuing immortality.
Both films ask the same question, but which one created a more terrifying scenario? Given that both films warn against pursuing immortality, which film present its argument better?