Mechanical Bride: Screening and Q & A

The fantasy of creating the perfect woman is as old as Pygmalion, but how close is it to becoming a reality? This provocative documentary reveals the state of the art in artificial companions – from life-sized silicone sex dolls to humanoid robots – and offers a surprisingly human, at times humorous, look at the men who build, animate, and love them. Filmed in the U.S.A., U.K., Japan, and Germany. Narrated by Julie Newmar. Running time – 76 minutes

Allison de Fren is a media maker and scholar based in Los Angeles, who divides her time between creating, writing, and teaching about media, gender, and technology. While she has long been fascinated by dolls, puppets, and robots, her interest in men who build artificial women was sparked in her former life as a digital interaction designer, while working among predominantly male roboticists at a future technology “think tank” in Silicon Valley. It eventually led to her award-winning documentary short about robot fetishists, A.S.F.R. (alt.sex.fetish.robots), which in turn gave birth to The Mechanical Bride. She holds a masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a doctorate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and has been awarded fellowships from the Annenberg Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the American Association of University Women, as well as a Women in Film Cagney & Lacey Scholarship. She is an Assistant Professor of Media Arts & Culture at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Introduction and moderation by Assistant Professor Anna Greenspan.
Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 6:15 – 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Auditorium