August 20, 2014 by karenfan111
Big Data in the film TRON
According to Wikipedia, Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications. It is a invisible but playing an dominant role in our daily life.
However, is there approach for us to actually visualise the Big data? Let’s get started by watching one of the earliest computer- generated film trailer- TRON 1982.
For me, this is one of the most visually and conceptually revolutionary movie about how the Big data generates currently, how it is going to be in the future life and the role that human play in the “Big data” generation. It mainly depicts the story of a rouge computer programmer named Kelvin Flynn who was keen to break into the computer system that he created to discover the evidence of the past. However, this computer genius is accidently zapped by a matter- transformer controlled by the MCP and “digitalised”. He thus enters the world of the MCP and another computer programs. The MCP attempts to destroy Flynn– a man the other programs revere as a god-being called a “User”–using his right-hand man, the villainous Sark, to do it.
As the movie says, “Soon, the ultimate tool will become the ultimate enemy.”TRON expresses the curiosity that people had on the rapid growth of this new data technology. On one hand, humans were still at the top of the food chain in TRON. “Users” sending “programs” to do their bidding in an invisible electronic universe.
However, on the other hand, where did those “programs” or “data” go? This film answered this question for us. Those “programs”had been sent to a digital universe that was structured by electronic futures. Everything there had its own intelligence. This kind of fear of insidious technology in our homes finds voice in much of TRON’s dialogue. “ The computers will start thinking and people will stop.” This is also the film’s prediction about the future of the “Big data” generation.
At other points, however, Tron also expresses the desire for a “ free system” in which human and program all in beneficial unison. Kelvin Flynn dives into the MCP and briefly joins with it. His humanity transforms the outward shade into the film’s shade of rebellion and liberty. This is also the tendency about how people connect with the “Big data” in a more effective way.
This is the most Big Data scene in the 2010 film TRON: LEGACY, when the leading role Sam enters “the grid”.
Here again, I end up my post with the lyric from TRON film that bring a different approach of how we see data.
“I tried to picture clusters of information
As they moved through the computer
What do they look like?
With the circuits like freeways
I kept dreaming of a world
I thought I’d never see
And then, one day
I got in”
John Kenneth Muir’s Reflections on Cult movies and classic TV, viewed 15/08/2014,
Top 10 Big Data movie scenen, viewed 15/08/2014, http://scn.sap.com/community/hana-in-memory/blog/2012/07/05/top-10-big-data-movie-scenes
Mit’s BigData with Alex Sandy pentland and Erik Brynjolfsson, viewed 18/08/2014,
Why Big Data Is Defining The Film Industry: 5 Things We Learned From Tribeca Talk’s ‘Big Data and the Movies’ Panel, viewed 18/08/2014
Big Data goes to Movies, viewed 18/08/2014,
20 Movies Every Hacker should be, viewed 19/08/2014,