News out of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival isn’t all about the A-list premieres and million-dollar acquisitions, there’s also a strong indie showing in attendance. The festival shined a spotlight on one such film, the 17-minute short, Noah. From Canadian film students Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg, Noah tells the story of the title character and his girlfriend, a relationship steeped in social media and told through the lens of Noah’s computer screen. We watch Noah in “real time” as he navigates Facebook,
YouTube YouPorn, iTunes, Skype and various rabbit holes of the internet while drama unfolds in his romantic life. It’s an honest commentary on the way people, especially the Millennial Generation, interact in contemporary times and why all these multiple levels of connectedness does not necessarily lead to making an actual connection. (It’s also rather NSFW, thanks mostly to ChatRoulette.) Hit the jump to watch.
Check out the film below (via FastCoCreate), followed by its synopsis and some additional commentary from yours truly:
In a story that plays out entirely on a teenager’s computer screen, Noah follows its eponymous protagonist as his relationship takes a rapid turn for the worse in this fascinating study of behaviour (and romance) in the digital age.
While this display of ADHD sets my teeth on edge, I must confess to being guilty of it myself, in some degree. Heck, I even initially watched the film while flipping between various tabs and checking my phone every few minutes. My position here at Collider calls on me to be online for a solid portion of each day while tapping into entertainment news through a variety of social media feeds, and simultaneously engaging with like-minded writers and readers, all while having my phone almost surgically attached to my hand. It’s the world we live in. Luckily, I’m old enough to have been able to watch this interconnected world come about, so I can much more easily leave it all behind than someone who has grown up within the network itself.
Noah certainly doesn’t seem to advocate breaking away from our collective obsession with gadgets and social media as there’s never even a glance away from the computer monitor or iPhone screen to reveal that there still is, in fact, a world outside. Instead, the film suggests that honest connections are still possible, but the only way to achieve them is by having a chat with a complete stranger in the middle of the night. This is where I’m torn on Noah’s message because the film seems so self-affirming. It portrays a character that literally lives within a computer network and suffers emotionally because of it, but then turns around and says it’ll all be okay because there are still ways to find honest connections through that selfsame network. Perhaps I’m reading too deeply into it, but my takeaway is, at the end of the day, go out and live your life in the real world. It still exists.