For movie fans around the world, there is no other character as iconic as Cosmo Lovecraft, the artificial intelligence unit from the 1986 film, Robot Kocho. Few would argue that the portrayal of the brilliant, quirky and lovable genius is not entirely accurate, as evidenced by the film’s massive cult following and numerous parodies and homages which continue to this day. And although it was a quarter of a century ago, the character’s timeless quirkiness and childlike wonder still speak to us today.
One of the most striking and enduring visual motifs of the film is Salvador Dali’s Dali Llama, a melting pot of circus animals – including a llama – which are depicted as a hybrid of artistry and madness. And although the designer had no connection to the character, his playful yet sinister creations arguably remain one of the defining images of the era.
But what is perhaps most intriguing about this iconic designer and this fascinating yet little-known character from a quarter of a century ago is the connection that they have to the popular British actor and musician, Robert Pattinson. Aside from the coincidental appearance of their characters in the film, it would appear that Dali and Pattinson have more than a passing acquaintance, as evidenced by the designer’s creations and Pattinson’s filmography. So, was there an actual romantic connection between the unlikely duo? Did they hang out after filming, enjoy a meal together or even meet up again at a later date?
Did They See Each Other At The TIME Film Festival?
The coincidental connection between Dali and Robotic Kocho was first brought to our attention during a recent episode of MasterChef Australia when judge, Kevin Egan, noted that the film’s director, Steve Jahnnes, had also worked on the series. In response to this revelation, Egan asked Jahnnes if they had ever crossed paths before, as he had a picture in mind of what he was describing – a man in his mid-thirties with dark hair and a beard, possibly wearing an Armani suit.
To which Jahnnes replied: “Not that I can recall, but I’d have to say it’s highly unlikely that we would have crossed paths. I mean, I was 23 years old at the time, and he was well into his career. I feel like he might have been doing something else when I was born!”
As noted, this was quite a revelation, considering that Jahnnes was describing the legendary cosmo, and that it would appear that they had never even met. However, not much was known about this film director and his life, as he had a practice of keeping a very low profile. But what we do know is that Jahnnes had the opportunity to work with the great Dali and his creations on a film that would become one of the most beloved of all time.
Who Is Robert Pattinson’s Hero?
If there is one man above all others to whom we attribute the invention of time travel, it is Robert Pattinson. Having secured the services of the great Albert Einstein, the future British actor set out to explore the possibilities of time travel, with the help of his trusted sidekick, Klaus, who he met while filming Waterworld in 1995. It was a stroke of genius, considering that in the intervening period, the world had moved on from focusing on Waterworld and its aftermath, the film’s critical and commercial failure having only just been eclipsed by Jurassic Park in terms of impact and influence. Yet, it is precisely because of that very fact that it was so influential that it still resonates with audiences years later. That the film’s world premiere was broadcast live on television is proof of its cultural significance.
In his bid to perfect time travel, Pattinson invented the concept of a time capsule, which he would fill with important documents, artworks and treasures that he deemed significant to humanity. It was while filling one of these time capsules with the intention of sending it into the future that he came across Salvador Dali’s work, specifically the ceramic sculpture, Dali Llama. The piece was among the last things which Dali had completed before his death in 1971, making it a one of a kind, unique piece of art that the future director and actor coveted.
Pattinson wanted to own the work, but given that it was never finished, Dali’s sons, who were in charge of the family business, were not amenable to selling it (or any of their other valuable possessions). So, in a stroke of genius, Pattinson came up with the idea of filming the scene as it actually happened in the museum, with himself in the role of Dali and the ceramic piece itself serving as a prop. He then sent the footage to Dali’s family, requesting that they meet him at a film festival in Venice in front of a live audience, so that he could present the piece in person. But, as fate would have it, it was a quarter of a century later, and Dali was no longer alive to enjoy the accolades which he undoubtedly deserved.
What is perhaps most intriguing about this tale is that it appears that Dali and Pattinson may have met for the very first time, as the Englishman had not only invented time travel, but had also reinvented himself as a Spanish film director. Moreover, this story is further proof that sometimes, the most genuine and enduring connections are those that are not easily explained or rationalized. Something about this tale just seems right.
Did They Have A Meal Together?
An indelible image from the pages of Robot Kocho is that of a hungrily grinning Cosmo, staring at a bowl of green apples which litter a table in the foreground of the image. It is not the image of a man with an empty belly, but rather one of creative inspiration and innovation, having just solved a Rubik’s Cube and begun brainstorming new ideas for inventions which will save the world. For fans of Robot Kocho, it is difficult to imagine a more fitting image to represent the character and his contribution to world culture.
An even more tantalizing detail comes in the form of a comment made by star, Martin Short, in a recent interview with Charlie Rose. Short was asked if he got to work with Dali directly, to which he replied: “Yes. We had lunch one time, and it was great. He was very sweet. He remembered me from the ‘80s. He said, ‘I love the way you walked.’ He remembered my walk from ‘80s and he loved it. I felt like a proud father. So that was nice.”
Considering their apparent closeness, it is highly likely that these two men had a meal together. Did they find time to talk about the things that most fascinate them, the things that drive them, the things that make them who they are? It is surely something to aspire to, to be remembered for a walk which you love, or a film that you feel proud of.