For the last several weeks, I have immersed myself into the art of live tweeting. Throughout my university degree, I have never once been asked to do this. It was refreshing to have a subject with no pre-conceived knowledge of what the tasks would involve. To live tweet, we watched an array of science fiction films applying the theories and concepts discussed in lectures. Through that foundation we extended those ideas by collaborating with other members of the class, discussing thoughts and opinions whilst also proposing questions for others to answer. It was a way to engage the audience with the content and introduce a new and exciting way in achieving class collaboration and discussion. Therefore, this blog post will be a curation of tweets, both my own and others, in a week by week layout to demonstrate my overall experience of the live tweeting process.
Week One: – Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 Anime – Ghost in the Shell.
The beginning of any new task always requires a warm up stage. I used this week to grasp the concept of live tweeting. The film was an effective introduction into the future cultures course content; it highlighted some keys themes that would be addressed throughout the semester. My initial thoughts after week one lingered around the ideas and impacts of technological advancement, the ethics involved in creating robots and the way in which this film highlights some important societal issues relevant even today. There is a scene in the movie known as the puppet master’s speech that alludes to issues surrounding politics, power, money and technology. My favourite tweet for the week discussed merging and suggestion it was a form of love.
Week Two – Michael Crichton’s 1973 Film: – Westworld.
By far one of the best films we watched. This week was interesting and provided so much material for solid class discussion. I think this film conveyed some powerful messages around gender, equality, sexualisation, slavery and so much more. It really focused on the representation of emotion. Can robots have the same emotional responses as humans when they are only machines or are they no longer just machines?
I was a major fan of the film techniques throughout each scene; I love directors who can successfully make the visual stimulus just as important as the clues in the dialogue. Another major aspect of this week was the objectification of women through sexualisation. I found this tweet important for the movie context but also to highlight a prevalent issue in contemporary society.
Week Three: – Robert Longo’s 1995 Film :- Johnny Mnemonic.
Honestly this movie was somewhat good and somewhat bad. Some iconic actors and actresses but each scene made me cringe uncomfortably. However it did have an amazing visual representation of cyberspace. This week is where I retweeted some posts produced by other members of the class. I particularly liked the one posted by Angela alluding to cyberpunk in the entertainment industry. I think it helped explain some of the core elements of cyberpunk representation in this film.
Week Five:- Netflix’s Black Mirror – “Be right Back”, Season Two, Episode One
This sci-fi anthology series imagines realities in which people are forced to power their own existence, receive memory implants and more. I really enjoyed this week’s content, it requires you to pay close attention to each subtle gesture in the film. My aim was to engage deeply with the content this week provided so I could offer personal insights with a little more depth. I had two tweets where I think I tried to analyse some of the major themes of love and loss, pain and suffering, right and wrong.
Week Six:- Jake Schreier’s 2012 film:- Robot and Frank
This week’s film was lighthearted comedy with some pretty unexpected heart wrenching moments. It dealt with the isolation of growing old, the deterioration of dementia and the ethical issues surrounding robots. This week my engagement wasn’t the best with the live-tweeting, I was too engrossed in the actual film itself but I did find this quote I tweeted quite relatable to the ethical debate surrounding the use of robots as slaves.
Week Seven:- Netflix’s Black Mirror- “Hated in the Nation“, Season Three, Episode Six
By far the best week for engagement, this episode highlighted online bullying and the psychological impacts this can have on people. It talked about social media, online behaviours and the ramifications of power imbalances. I loved the collaboration of discussion between my peers. Throughout the screening we discussed some serious issues that have impacted people personally and collectively too.
On a less serious note, depending on the way you want to look at, I had my most liked tweet happen in this week. I still think it was a worthy and relevant tweet that needed to be shared about the spider take-over that could occur any moment.
Week Eight:- Ridley Scott’s 1982 Film :- Blade Runner
What an epic way to end the live-tweet saga with one of the best sci-fi films ever made. There are so many subtle references to the control of corporations, power imbalances in class structures, cyborgs, cyberspace, ethics, social injustices, sexualisation of women, the human deconstruction of the natural environment, biblical references and so much more. What makes us human is the main question that goes unanswered in the film, rather it purposefully leaves a void for you to decide with your own interpretation.