Saturday, May 21, 2022

Cinema Finally Caught Up with the Internet

We're All Going to the World's Fair (2021) - Schoenbrun Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 8.31.53 AM Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 8.32.44 AM Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 8.33.24 AM Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 7.28.29 AM Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 8.30.52 AM Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 8.30.24 AM It's remarkable to think that it's been more than twenty years since Kiyoshi Kurosawa's internet themed horror, Pulse, came out. And it took twenty years for another, more down to earth, acute observations of growing up with the internet to come out, which is Jane Schoenbrun's We're All Going to the World's Fair. There has been some internet themed horror films in recent years, but none really concentrated on the alienation and performative aspects of the internet in a heartbreaking and poignant way Schoenbrun presents here. The main point of the movie is that in the internet discourse, no one knows one another, there is no distinguishing between what's real and what is not,that everyone has been circling around one another, for comfort, for lust, for real human connections, reaching out ever so timidly and endlessly without no tangible satisfaction. On a larger context, for the last two decades, this has been the case for millions of lonely souls.

On another level, Schoenbrun, a non-binary filmmaker, uses the film to reflect on the internet as a stage for countless queer teens in non-major cities trying to find their way around in the internet ether, trying to find themselves through performance. And I'm not saying that performance aspect of the internet is only relegated to the queer teens. But you can read the film as that way. Internet also can be a hazadous and dangerous place. But the film also turns the tables on the perceived predator/victim catfishing theme. It encompasses many layers of the internet dominated world and reflect the melancholy of accepting and living with something less than authentic, honest, truthful relationship because those things don't exist.

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