Indie Spotlight: 17-Minute Short Film NOAH Takes Place Entirely on Computer Screen

     September 14, 2013


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.

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  • Matt

    Wow thanks so much for posting this. At first I was finding it a bit annoying because the kid just seemed like a prick not paying attention to his GF. But after it all it was very engaging and probably on point for a lot of people. Very few people who take part in social media will have not fallen prey to it at times.

    Certainly a fascinating and insightful watch. I think it was a bit stupid that…SPOILER ALERT…

    The girl’s friend ended up being gay. I realize people can be stupid but that’s not a mistake I think a lot of people would make. I think it would have been a bit more honest if the guy was hitting on the girl. It paints the main character as entirely in the wrong (if understandably so) and I think life tends to be a bit more grey.

    • Alec Safreno

      While that does happen in life, I don’t think the point of the short was to illustrate how a dude can swoop on a girl through facebook. It’s more about how technology and all the access to information about someone can ruin relationships.

  • junierizzle


  • TrekBeatTK

    This made me mad. It’s why I will never ever join Facebook; just people being stupid. And I don’t care how ADD you are, what kind of guy goes to a porn site, pulls up a video and then lets it play while he doesn’t watch it? Or how about sexy ChatRouletter girl who is not on Facebook (good) because it’s “creepy” but she’s up in the middle of the night on chatroulette where every other guy is jerking off. For that matter, what’s with Noah saying “I was just about to pull my cock out”? Would that count as flirty with anyone in real life if it was one if the first things a guy ever said to you?
    Oh, and for the love of God, put your files in folders!!!! I HATE how kids today just leave everything on the desktop! In my day, we always had things neatly organized in our Macs.
    this generation makes me want to kill myself. Why are tools like Noah in relationships while I’m alone?

    • PANTS

      Because you are a bitter old man, and your angry pleas for the kids to get off your lawn will go unheeded.

    • Michael Di Gennaro

      ladies and gentlemen, this man is angry because an imaginary teenager has a cluttered desktop. (keyword: imaginary)

      also: catching feels, maybe?

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