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Alex Garland at South By Southwest. (Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images for A24)
Alex Garland at South By Southwest. (Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images for A24)
Alex Garland at South By Southwest. (Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images for A24)

One film enthusiastically received by audiences at the SXSW Film Festival has been the British sci-fi extravaganza Ex Machina from respected screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go), who’s making his directorial debut.

It’s an intelligent film starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac in an intense story of a computer programmer exploring the extent to which an alluring robot with female characteristics has human intelligence.

Although the audience is engaged by dramatic twists of the story, the film also raises some topical questions over the power of online internet companies and what their critics see as a lack of oversight. It’s an issue that concerns Alex Garland as I discovered when I sat down to talk to him.

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By Tom Brook