Week 1 – Ghost in the Shell (1995)
In the first week I was quite visibly finding my feet. As my first time ever livetweeting something, I found it pretty difficult to keep up. Call me old fashioned, by I like to be fully immersed in the media I consume, presence bleed makes it hard to concentrate on both watching and tweeting. That and I was taught at a young age that it is rude to give half of your attention to someone talking, which kind of extended to other kinds of communication. The above tweet was my favourite simply because the quote best sums up what I gained from the film.
Also of interest, a trend throughout my tweets is spotting tropes, especially my favourite, the ‘enhance’.
Something I find interesting is how creators come up with visions of future technology, and the way they represent it in their media so audiences at the time can understand it. Looking back, it’s almost like viewing cave-paintings of phenomena we can now explain, but the tech been beyond comprehension to their creators. Little oversights like cameras being low quality in the future or lack of WiFi we laugh at now.
Weekly attempt at humour.
Week 2 – Westworld (1973)
Still getting the hang of things here. Had my first bit of actual interaction with people on the hashtag. A lot of the stuff I was posting was basic, like pointing out the green fonts, and everyone else was doing the same – it didn’t add much value. I figured out that if someone said something already, I may as well retweet it (as lazy as it probably looks)
Another trend developing is me making connections that people have already googled/is common knowledge to everyone else.
Note that I stopped using the film hashtag because it was taking too long to fire off tweets, especially those time sensitive punchlines. While it made things simpler, it also cut the reach of my tweets, and reduced the amount of opportunities for interaction with people outside of the subject.
Weekly attempt at humour.
Week 3 – Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Most of the tweets here were poking fun at the film, for the first time I didn’t mind splitting my attention between the film and Twitter.
I did get some useful information though, cyberpunk is one of my favourite themes, but I’d never dipped into early cyberpunk texts. Thus I’d never realised that most of cyberpunk media draws upon (and overtly homages) the original texts created by the founders. Realising this deflated me a little as I started to realise how recycled many of the ideas in modern cyberpunk are – but then, its a genre thing really.
One good moment was participating in a blown up discussion on memory, with some actual discourse after all the memes.
I posted a few articles, but in all honesty, someone else probably posted the same ones, and I didn’t feel like they added much value to the conversation when it moves so fast.
Weekly attempt at humour. Betoota is almost cheating though.
Week 4 – The Matrix (1999)
At this point I started feeling a lot more comfortable livetweeting. This combined with the fact I’d previously seen The Matrix made it much easier to have meaningful Twitter discourse and draw connections. I think this is the week it ‘clicked’ and I started really contributing useful content.
One interesting thought was about the ways people express themselves through avatars – is this the same for everyone online? Social media personas definitely aren’t ‘real’. Are people’s video game/forum/chat room avatars representative of themselves?
The twitter feed also made for plenty of interesting facts – one of my favourite parts of our little swarm is that some people enjoy sharing niche facts or connections that I don’t go looking for, but find interesting nonetheless.
It might be sidetracked to the goal of watching these films, but every week I found us all slipping into some film examination rather than the theme examination.
Weekly attempt at humour (this one was way too niche, and timing was off, learnt a lesson).
Week 5 – Black Mirror ‘Be Right Back’ (2016)
It feels like I’m the only person in BCM that hasn’t seen much Black Mirror. I don’t really enjoy consuming media that makes me dread the future – I do it enough already!
I actually though the episode would pursue the theme of presence bleed much more, but it really switched up on me.
Around this time in the semester it was much easier to get a thread going, I think everyone was much more comfortable coming out of our shells. As a result, there were more interesting discussions to join. This was great because I could browse the hashtag and come across ideas that hadn’t yet crossed my mind, and prompted me to recall past learnings that added to the conversation.
In typical Black Mirror fashion, some of the ideas were too relatable to real life. Maybe I had previously been too much of a pest on the hashtag, but my biggest struggle so far was getting feedback and replies from others on my posts.
Maybe if I phrased things as questions more often?
Weekly attempt at humour. Bathtub boyfriend is a winner.
Week 6 – Robot and Frank (2012)
This was a bit of a dry week for me, I feel like there was less to unpack. Most people reverted to a bit of research, me included. Also Robot and Frank touched my feelings a little more than I would’ve liked, and I got a little too immersed to think critically.
I think everyone that liked this tweet was feeling a little emotionally invested.
This was the most interesting question I found during the screening, do we punish robots for doing something we told them to do? And if we punish the humans in control, which ones? And in extension, the parallels between Frank and the Robot – can you punish someone with dementia for something they don’t remember doing?
Kris and I bonded over how well the annoying character was implemented. She was an important representation of a counterpoint in the argument against the robot.
I feel Grace’s tweet was quite important, and I felt the same way afterwards.
Weekly attempt at humour. I guess everyone ‘forgot’ to appreciate it?
Week 7 – Black Mirror ‘Hated in the Nation’ (2016)
Another episode I hadn’t seen. Again, I feel I got too invested in the plot, but my tweets were very much related to the themes. Memes seem to get good traction with the cohort. Looking back I should’ve pre-prepared more of them.
One thing that has always interested me as a PR major – what happens when someone gets into the internet spotlight? Do you get approached by PR people offering to help capitalise/damage control?
Having not seen the episode, I made a few predictions throughout that left me feeling like an idiot afterwards.
The idea of sockpuppets, a topic quite close to my heart reared its head. I think it is a bigger issue than many of us realise. People get up in arms over bots in the recent US election, but astroturfing by corporations is probably happening too, and its very hard to pin down if its done well – everyone on the internet is anonymous, how do you know if someone is who they say they are?
One of the themes of the episode was the way we dehumanise each other over social media. The threads on this were quite productive, there weren’t many opposing opinions however, I think we were all trying to say something similar.
Weekly attempt at humour. Weakest one yet.
Week 8 – Bladerunner – Director’s Cut (1982)
During the last week I felt much more at home livetweeting. I did feel myself slipping away from the main discussion and into the finer points of the film – but its a masterpiece so I feel justified in doing so, there’s just so much to talk about.
One of my favourite moments was when one of my tweets attracted the attention of someone outside the course! #BCM325 is getting some attention.
Again, Bladerunner is a prime example of how can predict some things about the future, but its the much more subtle things we look back and laugh about, like the representations of computers being projector hybrids, or the out of style deco.
Cyberpunk turned me into a sceptic, is it crazy to assume that this sort of thing is going on as we speak? We live in the future, its just less overt of one.
Something I only noticed on my second viewing, one of my things about the film, the way Roy progresses leaves so much to unpack surrounding the ethics of creating life.
Weekly attempt at humour – There was none, Bladerunner is a masterpiece and shall be respected as such.
If i could change anything I’d probably dial back on some of the early attempts at humour, and replace them with more critical thought about the themes.
I could’ve done more linking articles and background research, but I feel justified in wanting to enjoy the films (most of which I hadn’t seen) without spoiling them too much. As other people were happy to contribute facts like this, I tried to carve out my niche making critical reflections about the films as they went, as well as participating in conversations about other’s observations. I think it’s more of my strength, and it was the best value I could add to the hashtag.
I definitely learnt a lot about livetweeting.