I’m very excited for this weekend’s showing of Me and You and Everyone We Know at the Oriental Theatre (TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE!) – Miranda July’s directorial debut is whip-smart, unique, and like all good movies, features a scene in which John Hawkes is temporarily set ablaze. But what most people remember this film for is this: )) <> (( I will not spoil this moment for the uninitiated, other than to say that it takes place during an internet chat, which in honor of Me and You, forms the basis of this week’s top five…
THE TOP FIVE INTERNET CHATS IN CINEMA!
Note that I am not including Me and You and Everyone We Know in the following list. Let’s consider its jersey hanging in the TopFiveTuesday rafters, and login to access more webchat delights!
1. You’ve Got Mail
(dir. Nora Ephron | USA | 1998)
I’m extending the olive branch to You’ve Got Mail with this selection. The Shop Around the Corner is one of my all-time favorite films (Lubitsch forever and forever a hundred years), and I actively have avoided Nora Ephron’s take on the source material because of it. But a) I don’t think Ernst Lubitsch has much time for my strong brand loyalty in the afterlife and b) this scene gave us Tom Hanks much-utilized ‘firing up the typing fingers’ .gif. All this is to say that I will at some point in the year 2019 watch You’ve Got Mail in its entirety. Sidenote: I made the mistake of typing out You’ve Gort Mail, and now I can think of literally nothing else than a romantic comedy featuring the beefy robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still. Send help.
(dir. Leo Gabriadze | USA | 2014) (dir. Aneesh Chaganty | USA | 2018)
We’ve had two really solid movies that are told entirely through the mediated experience of computer screens recently, so I decided to lump them together! While Searching is the more technically adept of the two (the abundance of information being conveyed on screen has led to a robust collection of easter eggs), I must admit to a massive soft spot for Unfriended. A wonderful anti-bullying PSA, the film is chockfull of unlikable teens, a pre-requisite for enjoying the screws getting turned on them by their deceased classmate. A ghost classmate, mind you, that MAKES AND SHARES MEMES ABOUT KILLING THESE TEENS. MURDER MEMES!
3. NSFW Closer NSFW
(dir. Mike Nichols | USA | 2004)
Closer - Chat Scene from Axis on Vimeo.
SOUND THE NSFW KLAXON! This catfishy chat between Jude Law’s philandering author Dan and Clive Owen’s sassy dermatologist Larry is IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM SAFE FOR WORK. If you’re in the market for a movie about people being awful to one another, look no further. Forms a fine infidelity trilogy with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Carnal Knowledge. Were I tasked with creating a box set for those titles, I would call it “A Nichol for Your Thoughts”, for the record.
(dir. John Polson | USA | 2002)
Oh man, where to begin. extremely Stefon voice This trailer for Swimfan (or Swimfan@ if you’re to take trailers as canon) has everything: the song “Stupify” by Disturbed, insanely loud typing noises, the entire plot of the movie laid out fully in 2:08, a comic book style “WHOOSH” sound effect added to the stinger. This “Fatal Attraction for Kids!” is not really worth your time, but it did lead to me defacing a DVD copy of the movie at my previous place of employment, and for that I am eternally grateful to it.
5. The Matrix
(dirs. Lana & Lilly Wachowski | USA | 1999)
Mostly wanted to include this one as an example of the internet actually sparking positive change (assuming you side with the raving underground resistance, and not the blissfully unaware simulacrum-steak-eating matrix-dwellers) – as you have seen throughout this list, the internet (and internet messaging) are mostly depicted in a negative/frightening light in cinema. And, as a person whose job requires them to be online for the majority of their day-to-day, I can tell you that they’re right. Social media, message boards, texting – it all is having a profoundly deleterious effect on our mental stability and emotional wellbeing. Thanks for reading!