Never would I of imagined how difficult it would be to focus on the story line of a film, whilst producing thought provoking social commentary, and engaging with others at the same time….
Thank you Jimmy Fallon for that very accurate re-enactment of me trying to keep it together whilst live tweeting.
For the past seven weeks I have been engaging in the act of ‘live tweeting’, something I had never even really heard of before starting my current university subject BCM325, entitled ‘Future Cultures’. After some research I found that Game of Thrones (GOT) is a television series that has been live tweeted to death, here is a tremendously funny thread of T-Pain live tweeting his reactions to the finale of GOT.
So what is the purpose of live tweeting?
Canva explains that live tweeting an event or an experience should add on to the experience, not make it worse. This is much harder than it sounds. However, after live tweeting several sci-fi films, I believe I actually got a lot more out of the films and although it was challenging and at times I felt like I missed pivotal moments because I was too busy trying to think up an engaging tweet, it was worthwhile reading different peoples insights into films and aspects that I never would have picked up on.
So, without further ado, here is my attempt at ‘Live Tweeting’ from the past eight weeks…
Ghost In the Shell (1995)
First off was 1995 anime science fiction film Ghost In the Shell about a cyborg federal agent who hunts down a powerful hacker called ‘The Puppet Master’. These were my two most ‘successful’ tweets, with two likes each.
These were fairly short statements and in hindsight they don’t offer much in terms of inviting interaction with other people. However they reflect what I found most striking about this film, that is, the main character of ‘Motoko’ being a cybernetic human, her robot body is disconnected from her technologically wired brain, representing the idea of dualism.
In this first live tweeting what I found most enjoyable was reading other peoples insights, I thought this was a particularly interesting observation of identifying the main character as both a woman and a robot with human concerns.
In the second week of live tweeting we watched the original Westworld film that has now become a highly successful HBO tv series. This week I was more engaged in commenting and having conversations with other students using the #BCM325 hashtag. I found @silent_claire’s observation very interesting and wanted to expand on this notion of humans wanting to not only escape modern technology, but also their moral compasses in the simulation of Westworld. In tweet 2, a little bit of background research into a film can give you a whole different perspective into why film makers use certain language and symbolism to convey meaning, in this case the use of biblical references to exhibit the god complex the creators of Westworld have felt in bringing their creations to life.
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
After checking Johnny Mnemonic’s IMDB rating of 5.6/10 I was highly skeptical of the enjoyment our class would face for the next 2 hours, hence the first tweet as a reply to @CL_Moore. I think humour is one of the most important aspects of live tweeting, it adds so much enjoyment to the experience and I was beginning to notice that all the humorous tweets were attracting the most comments and likes.
I also thought this was a very interesting conversation with @silent_claire about the use of waste land settings in so many popular dystopian films as many cinematic interpretations of the future are dismal, dark and polluted. It made me question what type of world the future will be and Claire’s reply of whether or not continued advances in technologies can co-exist with nature in the future is a very important question.
The Matrix (1999)
My first observation when watching cyber punk film, The Matrix was tweet 1. Neo experiences a complete re-birth into the world of The Matrix, however at first I did not think of the reference to a womb and the linkage between technology and a literal human experience of birth. My classmate Ceren pointed out the reference to an umbilical cord and the womb, which made me think much more deeply about my initial observation.
My third tweet is about the parallels between the characters, ‘The Agents’, who act as guardians within the computer generated world of The Matrix that label Neo as a ‘terrorist’. I interpreted this as being a reference to governments regulating the internet, in turn gathering huge amounts of information through surveillance to stop those they label hackers, scammers etc like Neo.
Robot and Frank (2012)
Is it immoral to give the often unwanted job of caring for the elderly to robots?. Live tweeting Robot & Frank made me reflect on whether or not such a delicate and personalised job such as care taking is a job that should become automated. The Robot in Robot & Frank shows the ability of a Robot to fill that void of human companionship for the elderly and compared to previous weeks, the film exhibited a much more positive dystopian world, not that dissimilar to current times. Here are my most successful tweets.
Black Mirror episode Hated In the Nation (Ep. 6 season 3)
Live tweeting Black Mirror episode Hated In the Nation was truly exhausting because there are so many subliminal messages and different technologies throughout this amazing episode. I think this was probably my favourite week in online tweeting as I was able to collate my thoughts into succinct tweets that captured more peoples attention, resulting in re-tweets. My tweets for this week mostly focused on issues of government surveillance and the effects of cyber bullying as this episode of Black Mirror so cleverly demonstrates.
For our final week of live tweeting we watched Bladerunner (1982), I found myself again engaging in conversation about the dismal and dark setting being used for the film and the negative association this is giving to the future of technology and the environment. I was also particularly interested in the artificial eyes being used to distinguish between human and replicant and thought this was an observation that would add to other viewers experience of the film.
All in all I think what I learnt most from live tweeting is that reading others thoughts and collaborating on those thoughts add’s another layer to what would normally be a purely viewing experience. Live tweeting is almost the opposite to the norm of not talking during a film but is definitely a worth while exercise. I actually think I will miss coming to BCM325 on a Thursday ready to live tweet a science fiction film I have never seen before.