From Greek mythology to the New Testament, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Star Trek’s Spock or Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, the quest to cheat death is a powerful trope in storytelling. It’s one of those impossible desires: to stop time, and try to reverse the effects that its undeniable march has on us all.

Cinema, one might argue, is an innate resurrection machine, allowing us to commune with people long after they’re gone. The new wave of computer-generated effects, however, is something else entirely. Digital de-aging technology has evolved to the point where it’s possible to reanimate dead actors in new “performances.” But to what end? Is it the ultimate honor, or the final insult to a great performer? How “realistic” are these resurrected renderings? And where does morality sit alongside technology?

The second of this two-part video essay examines the resurrection aspect of our current onscreen age-pocalypse: the real and the virtual future of humans, ghosts in the machine of modern visual effects.

Watch Part I here.