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Rollo Ross

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Connecting with Disconnect

Posted: 05/09/2012 17:26

If I can tear myself away from Facebook for just one minute, I might be able to write this post.

I really want to because I have fallen in love with a movie here at the Venice film festival but it is quite difficult to focus.

Oh. Hang on. I'm just going to retweet something that says the only thing wrong with this movie is it's not in the festival's competition.

But yeah, there's this film called "Disconnect" and it got a 10-minute standing ovation at its world premiere here, and it is so well deserved. It's lean, strong and packs a punch.

It follows three interweaving stories of people whose lives are affected in one way or the other by a fascination with the internet and who each need to get more in touch with the people around them rather than just interfacing with the world wide web.

There's a TV news reporter (played brilliantly by an almost unrecognizable Andrea Riseborough), a live porn artist, a bullied emo kid and his family, a cyber detective, and finally a grieving couple who discover they're victims of internet fraud.

While I check my gmail, I'll let its director Henry Alex-Rubin (who I'm having lunch with on the Excelsior terrace) tell you about the film:-

"Well I suppose, thematically the film is about loneliness. Everyone has experienced loneliness and technology is a tool which medicates loneliness and I think all these characters are in search of something and they don't want to be so alone and want to feel connected. "

"The movie is an exploration of technology like any tool that can bring people together and separate them too. And at the end of the movie everyone is physically together whereas at the beginning of the movie they are separated."

Alex-Rubin is an Oscar-nominated documentary maker and for this movie, he even cast a 'shadow cast' which were real life counterparts of the parts in the movie that the actors could relate to.

All the characters in the movie are naïve about the dangers of the internet - except one. Frank Grillo plays the cyber detective of "Disconnect" and his shadow cast member was the head of the Cyber division of the NYPD.

Sorry, Henry, I'm going to call him to discuss this. You just eat your sandwich or check your e-mails or whatever.

"He can't stress enough that the best resource to prevent hacking on your computer is a small piece of tape that you should always have over the little camera on your computer. You should always have that. I find that to be fascinating and 25,000 people a day get their identities stolen. Now that's a lot of people. And that's in the United States and not the world. And it's not that hard to do. Just think of all the information we give away. We give it away. It's scary."

I think this is the first time I've ever seen a movie that actually portrays our reliance on modern day technology as it really is.

I could tell you more but I need to put an on-line bet on who's going to win the Best Film at the Oscars.

 

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