Internet is an intriguing short film for the Miami short Film Festival selection.
Beyoncé of All Things Internet
The film’s juxtaposition of its title with its retrograde imagery is reminiscent of Beyoncé. The gorgeous diva has a song titled “Party” from 2012 that bucked the trend of high-energy dance music suggested by its title, instead focusing on a slow-groove musical backdrop and a music video shot in a country location. Directors Carlos Cordoba, Daniel Bombino, Sophie Santamaria, Michael Cadena, Jacob Kerzner, and Matias Cabello-Del Boccio capture the same flip of expectations with INTERNET. The short film is shot mostly in dark backdrops with plenty of offscreen space. The technology we see is older computers complete with floppy disks. The visuals are in line with the stated time jumps present in the film. This is a great move on the directors’ part, as it places the viewer’s attention on the combative force attempting to manipulate the protagonist.
The viewer learns that we are in the mind of Paul, who is attempting to build the internet. He is being goaded and manipulated by a force that states it intends to use his creation to sow chaos at a minimum, and destruction at a maximum. The backdrop is pitch black, giving us a feeling that we are in a different realm, and keeping the focus squarely on Paul and his inner demon. We have an excellent scene where Elizabeth, Paul’s lover, is paraphrasing the Greek myth of Phaethon and the Sun Chariot. She tells Paul feverishly, her back to him with unnatural ticking motions, that like Phaeton, he has taken on fiery steeds he cannot control and will cause untold destruction. When Paul goes to grab her, he sees her face has been replaced with a computer screen jettisoning images of destruction across the viewer screen. The film does a great job of explaining how ill intentions behind an invention have meaning, in this case, Paul’s ego and naivety about the thing he is constructing. The malevolent force implies that Paul will build the internet anyway because he is afraid of not having his name emblazoned in human legend. Paul does seem to defy the force, writing a letter to Elizabeth, asking her to destroy the floppy disk containing his coding for the internet. In the end, we see he has delayed the force, but that his letter never reached Elizabeth and that the internet is waiting to be used to sow chaos.
The directors seemed to have gotten their message across about the hidden-in-plain-sight dangers of the internet and those who create upon it.
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