« Coffee Break | Main | Citizen Dog »

August 27, 2007


lol 1.jpg

Joe Swanberg - 2006
Benten Films All Region DVD

Would the young filmmakers of LOL be angry at me for saying that the film is an updated version of an old story? It may be possible that as an aging boomer, I may have missed the point of the film film. It's almost like the Thai expression that was popular when I was there, "Same Same, but different".

What connects LOL to past films is that essentially the film is about the sense of connection, or lack of connection, that young people feel, to each other as well as themselves. That sense of connection taken to its most literal meaning with the reliance on communication by cell phone and computer. Without beating the heads of the audience, as would more likely happen in a more conventionally made film, for at least one of the characters, the online relationship becomes more important and more real than the potential relationship with the young woman who has all but thrown herself in front of him.

lol 2.jpg

Further exploring connectivity of the electric kind, what struck my interest was the exploration in creating different art forms, particularly with music. The young man, Alex, composes music that is made up of electronic sounds. Tim creates videos of his friends making vocal sounds that are edited on a computer to become forms of music. It's a kind of art form that even has to a limited extent been institutionalized.

What makes LOL worth seeing is that, at the very least, it is people in their twenties telling their own story. For that reason alone, LOL should be prefered over the stuff filling the multiplexes that claims to speak to and for a generation. Was LOL made to be viewed by someone with a lapsed membership to AARP? Probably not. Still, it will be interesting to see what Joe Swanberg and company go from here. Or at least as soon as his newest film shows up at a theater reasonably near me.

lol 3.jpg

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at August 27, 2007 12:05 AM


Hmmmm. Always interesting to see movies as a lens through which to examine changes in society (connected, mobile life), or a mirror in which to see how those changes have changed us personally --- but at the same time, the "so connected as to be disconnected" meme of people living online vs. in the real world has been examined, rehashed, and sensationalized by the MSM so many times as to be an almost boring cliche. Playing on people's post-modern techno-anxieties has become a cheap plot device, IMHO.

That being said, an emphasis on new electronic art forms sounds like it adds some interest - an interesting find!

Posted by: rod / upcomingdiscs.com at August 28, 2007 11:21 AM