From Tarkovsky to Kurosawa, the world of Westworld is rich with references to the great films and directors of the past. Here are some useful signposts to point your way.

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Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden in season two of Westworld (2018)
  • Spoiler warning: This feature gives away major plot details

HBO’s ongoing sci-fi opus Westworld, which wrapped up its mind-bending second season last month, wears its wide-ranging influences on its sleeve as brazenly as any TV drama in recent memory (save, perhaps, for Netflix’s 80s nostalgia trip Stranger Things).

Set in and behind the scenes of a futuristic adult theme park where guests can indulge their wildest fantasies by interacting with realistic humanoid robot ‘hosts’, it’s a beguiling, and often baffling, fusion of high and low culture, where malfunctioning androids quote Shakespeare, Kurosawa-inflected action sequences are choreographed to orchestral arrangements of pop hits, and video-game-like scenarios are suffused with existentialism. …


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