When it comes to portraying the rise of the internet on film, it’s usually a pretty bland and superficial depiction that doesn’t really go into the details of technology or our growing reliance on it. regard. Instead, flimsy reminders of early internet memes or out-of-touch baby boomer critiques of how teenagers are “always on that fucking phone” usually replace anything significant or poignant.
Fortunately, there are films that understand the internet and its unique culture, and more and more films are beginning to explore the narrative potential of how people now function in this brave new world with these devices we couldn’t live without. . A select few nailed the internet experience and helped tell us more about how this technology has shaped our modern society.
“Feels Good Man” (2020)
Whenever someone mentions “Pepe the Frog”, it’s impossible not to discuss the meme’s overwhelming presence on virulent and alternative message boards like 4chan and how his smiling green face has become synonymous with bands. white supremacists and other symbols of hate. But for its creator, Matt FuryPepe was just a happy goofy guy who loved pizza and hanging out with his buddies in his webcomic, Boys club. The film documents Pepe’s story, his rise to fame as a popular meme, his assimilation by the alt-right as a symbol of hate, and Furie’s determination to regain control of his creation.
The film examines internet culture, the social currency of memes, their real-world ramifications, and the constant blurring between what’s digital and what’s real. It’s pretty heartbreaking to see Fury helpless to stop an unseen and much greater force, and the film also features his animation and art to show off his talent. Feels good man is a documentary that adds nuance to the internet meme niche and is an incredible film that everyone from the chronically online to the normie-trash will enjoy.
Featuring stranger things actor Joe Keery and shot mostly through car dash cams, CCTV footage and Instagram live reels, this horror-comedy holds a magnifying glass on influencer culture and explores the lengths one is ready to do to achieve internet fame. Keery plays the character of Kurt, a young man who works as a rideshare driver and makes YouTube videos in his spare time, despite having few to no subscribers.
Things quickly turn sour and the public watches as Kurt suffers a string of murders in a misguided bid for internet fame, as he is encouraged by his new influx of loyal followers who watch him commit violent acts in the name of views. . The film understands how the internet works, describes how social media is used in realistic and horrifying ways, and shows how the new transactional need for attention and social connection has disturbing consequences.
‘Ingrid Goes West’ (2017)
Another film exploring influencer culture, Ingrid goes west stars Place Aubrey in the titular role of this Matt Spicer Dark comedy drama film about a mentally ill young woman and her relentless need to befriend popular influencer Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen). The film quickly shows how incredibly unhealthy Ingrid’s obsession with Taylor and social media is, and her methods of achieving internet fame quickly become desperate as audiences watch her do whatever she can to achieve. influencer status.
Ingrid goes west explores social media’s endless appetite for shock and perfection and how individuals will commodify their existences and self-destructive behavior to achieve maximum engagement. The film is a wild journey with clever humor and topical social observations on social media, connection and the price of internet fame.
“Eighth Grade” (2018)
Written and directed by Bo Burnham, which painfully and accurately depicts the pitfalls of one of the most delicate periods of your life, Eigth year follows middle schooler Kayla (Elsie Fisher), who struggles with anxiety and socializes with classmates. The film shows how young people today navigate and interact with social media, for example through Kayla’s reliance on creating vlogs to give herself (and her virtually empty audience) motivational advice, as well as to using social media and the internet to escape from his lonely life. .
The film is excellent in its quirky humor and spine-chilling realism, bringing back memories of being an awkward thirteen-year-old in your senses, just like this scene in Ratatouille. It examines the relationship between young people and the internet and the overwhelming influence it has on their unique experience of growing up as teenagers in today’s world.
Research is a mystery thriller told only through web browsers, live streams, laptop screens, surveillance footage and just about every other form of digital screen (god only knows how much work that took edit) and concerns a widowed father trying to find his missing daughter. The internet plays a major role in this film, acting as the main means of communication between each character and the main vehicle David (John Cho) uses to find clues about his daughter, Margot (Michelle La), and its comings and goings.
The film uses the unique and timely approach of the Internet as a new storytelling device, helping to bring a fresh and modern concept to the mystery genre. The digital narrative helps add nerve-wracking suspense, as well as slowly revealing other details about Margot that are only found in her online private life. It’s thrilling, it’s detailed, and its twists and turns will truly blow your mind.
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