The Eight-Week Learning Curve that was Twitter

Prior to BCM325, I didn’t have a Twitter account, so the idea of live-tweeting was entirely new to me. The first week in particular I struggled, having to create a twitter account on a phone while watching a movie on a projector, while researching the movie on a laptop trying to understand what was happening because I’d missed the beginning because of all of the above, while attempting to develop relatively informed opinions about a genre with which I’m fairly unfamiliar with, while at the same time trying to figure out which button on Twitter does what, it was all a bit overwhelming. I eventually got the hang of Twitter as we went along each week, and discovered I could draft tweets which helped with not having to miss key scenes and losing touch with what was happening in the plot. I figured out the images and the GIFs and the liking and commenting and hashtags, but the content was something I still felt I was having trouble with.

I found it difficult to really analyse the movies while watching them for the first time, not having seen them before I was focused on taking in the plot. I’m someone who enjoys watching movies over and over because each time I watch them I always find myself discovering new things and different perspectives because I’m not as focused on following the plot so closely. 

‘Ghost in the Shell’ (1995) I found the most difficult, but week two’s ‘Westworld’ (1973) came a bit easier. The premise was relatively simple, and the plot rather slow paced, which made live-tweeting a lot easier while still watching what was happening. ‘Westworld’ (1973) was also one of the films I was able to develop some more solidly formed opinions about as it shares a lot of similarities theme-wise to other science-fiction works which I had seen. However, these opinions still didn’t quite translate to the tweets, as I stuck to mainly stray thoughts and observations, similar to comments you might make to a friend watching a show with you. 

‘Johnny Mnemonic’ (1995) I found hard to get into, to start with I’m not a huge Keanu Reeves fan, and I struggled to get into the plot, finding it a bit too far-fetched, and I think this showed in my tweets as I didn’t reach ten. Keanu Reeves made another appearance in ‘The Matrix’ (1999), however this time it was easy to get past the fact as I found the film far more engaging. It was still a little hard to follow at times, but overall much easier to watch and a much more compelling narrative and use of sci-fi technology. 

‘Robot & Frank’ (2012) was my favourite of the films so far, I’m not usually a big fan of sci-fi so I really enjoyed the more modern world the film was set in. I also loved how the robot in the film wasn’t there to take over the world or start killing off the entire cast of characters as is the standard in many other sci-fi works. The ‘Black Mirror’ (2011-2017) episode ‘Hated in the Nation’ (2016) was also set in a world that closely resembles our own, apart from the inclusion of drone bees. While dealing the implications of the bee technology on society,  ‘Hated in the Nation’ (2016) also comments on the potential damage of existing social media technologies, which is far more relevant and relatable today than having to cram 320GB into your 160GB hard drive of a brain.

If I were to watch these films again and live-tweet, I feel I would be able to better analyse the themes and express more informed opinions, as I would be able to concentrate more on the technology and how it impacts society and humanity rather than keeping up with the plot. 

Twitter – @britttspencer

‘Ghost in the Shell’ (1995) – Feb 28

‘Westworld’ (1973) – March 7

‘Johnny Mnemonic’ (1995) – March 14

‘The Matrix’ (1999) – March 21

‘Robot and Frank’ (2012) – April 4

‘Black Mirror’ – ‘Hated in the Nation’ (2016) – April

Black Mirror 4

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