Sunday, March 3, 2013

'Disconnected' from Reality: Warhol was Right All Along

Film's poster.
Finally a film allegory of the badness of technology, Ok I can do better than that to describe the new film Disconnect (2013), but because I was once a graduate student and PhD candidate in the ever growingly redundant and useless department of film studies anywhere, I'm going to drop some logistical reasoning on y'all before I get down to business.
This film harkens back to an idea I had been toying with during my PhD year, and yes I was only there one year before I said 'fuck this shit' and rightfully so. Anyway the idea was based on the Warholian concept of wanting to live forever and exist in technology as a machine. His simple quote 'I want to be a machine' harkens to the prophetic nature of machinery becoming integral in how we live our lives. I am not speaking in terms of how it would be perceived during say the industrial revolution like 'cars help us get places faster, and radio gives me information right in my living room', I mean in the sense that whatever we deem imperfect with our lives, we can refashion in our seemingly endless existence in the machine world. This has manifested itself particularly in terms of the superhuman or the post-human identity particularly with that of facebook. Bored yet? Well I am so let's switch gears. 
'text away, son'.
So a lot of hot people realize that their necessity in finding 'absolute truths' about themselves through the online universe has lead to their own demise. As Rooney Mara's character in The Social Network (2010) so eloquently put it 'the internet isn't written in pencil, it's written in ink'. Ergo, all of our mistakes, faux pas, dumb moments, etc. exist forever; being the double edged sword of internet post-human existence. And there I go off again. 
It has potential, it's the second seemingly serious reflection of our growing dependence and odd addiction to what some have started calling 'public displays of narcissism' which is basically what facebook is. In our endless pursuit of magnifying the good and deleting the bad from our online avatars, we have created a system of self-destruction the first sign of which is human disconnection. Ok I'm getting tired of my own voice here. The first film to address this new-millenium issue particularly a post-2010 issue was of course The Social Network (2010), after which, I think Catfish (2011) did a pretty good job, and if it weren't the highly overrated bullshit television series it turned into I'd say that with a straight face. Also, I have to give props to David Cronenberg's imaginative and surreal Cosmopolis (2012) which was also an anthem against this 'disconnect phenomenon'. More and more films like this that are reflexive of this particular bizarre influence on our culture including Matteo Garrone's Fellini-esque opus about a man who struggles in not living his life on a grand enough scale to where people everywhere can experience it too and becomes obsessed with getting on a second rate TV show slated for release later this year called Reality (2013).
Warhol and an antique camera. Most pictures of him had him holding a camera because he was always in the process of recording.
Aside from that, this phenom was actually something prophesied by you guessed it, Warhol. His films echo that sentiment in that they basically go on forever, as life organically does, without stopping or editing, but it exists mechanically, therefore the mechanical existence of ourselves overpowers our organic existence, and yes I am trying to remember bits and pieces of my dissertation right now, so I'll just leave you with the trailers. 

No comments: