- Directed by David Woods -
As a film festival reviewer, I have been put in many different positions where I would have to situate myself as close to the sphere of a production’s subject, without actually entering it. I was successful in doing so, until I was assigned to review @Moviegeek, a film about a film reviewer who is in the process of reviewing a film. Just as I was scribbling the first few notes on the movie, the main and only character, almost like a mirror action, started doing the same. Needless to say, @Moviegeek’s context resonated with me more than I would have thought or expected to.
This short film satirically explores the dark side of independent film promotion within the interconnected and technologically proficient society of nowadays. A common tendency nowadays is attention seeking, almost self-promotional behaviour, using social media as the main channel. Writer Matthew Simmonds and director David Woods nail the feeling of superficiality right in the head, one which actually transpires in two main ways.
First of all, the superficiality of the film reviewer is evident. While her questionable workspace might come down to a matter of preference, her attention span is undoubtedly miniscule. She thus spends more time tweeting about the process of reviewing, with subtle hints of irony when she hashtags #lovemyjob, than watching the film which she is supposed to critique. This speaks volumes about today’s society and the dopamine-seeking craze it goes through day in, day out: people taking more pleasure in Instagramming their food than in the act of eating. This superficiality, or, to use a stronger term, attention whoring, is perfectly captured by @Moviegeek in its particular context through the use of long static shots, the girl’s lack of concentration punctuated by short, automated peeks towards the screen, which warrant less than impressed responses - #lovefilm.
The second type of superficiality refers to the film under review by the girl – A Night in Devil’s Garden. The quality of the overheard dialogues and action is intentionally questionable; pieces of dialogue such as ‘glad you like things that are huge, baby’ showcase the exact nature and originality of the production which the main character has to watch – 71 minutes of it. This, coupled with the reaction upon hearing the news about the featured quote of a presumably similar production, and finally the possible poster quotes, all perfectly embody the cheesiness and decadent nature of many productions. This raises the question of a vicious cycle which includes the two aforementioned types of superficiality, but doesn’t present the causality report between the two. All in all, a great idea and well-applied satire guarantee that @Moviegeek really hits home.