And the King Said, What a FANTASTIC MACHINE

Axel Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck
Sweden, Denmark | 2023 | 88 min
Swiss Premiere
Languages : Swedish, English, French, German, Arabic
Subtitles : French, English

Barely 200 years separate the very first photographs from the 45 billion cameras of our modern era. This is nothing short of a revolution, resulting in a world where images — which have now become “content” — hold sway over our lives. Danielson and Van Aertryck deliver a headlong journey into the centre of the captivating story of humanity’s latest infatuation.

In the beginning was the ‘camera obscura’: this simple device contained a hole that let light through, thus creating an image projected onto a surface, through a process that was easily reproduced at home... Then in 1828, Nicéphore Niépce succeeded in printing this image onto a plate and in doing so, invented photography. Since then, the world has been animated by a frantic quest to create images, and currently numbers 45 billion cameras. Axel Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck take us on a fast-paced journey through this revolution, offering an amusing, concise and intelligent history spanning the creation of the first images to today’s production of content: from the first photograph to images of the Earth from the Moon, from propaganda images to beauty-filter selfies, from game shows to cat videos, humanity seems to have recorded everything by constantly developing technologies that modify our experience of reality. And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine is a dizzying dive into the heart of humanity and its world of images, from a critical and existentialist point of view. So, is this machine still fantastic?


Aurélien Marsais

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Themed walks

Filmmakers or researchers from UNIL will take you on a walk through the streets of Nyon to delve into and deepen your appreciation of this film’s subject. Balade avec Olivier Glassey, sociologue (UNIL)

Maximilien Van AertryckAxel Danielson
Anne Gry Kristiansen
Axel DanielsonMaximilien Van AertryckMikal Cee Karlsson
Axel DanielsonPlattform ProduktionMaximilien Van AertryckPlattform Produktion
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