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Social Networking Socially - Society Through Technology short film


Directed by Paul Murphy

Starring Haiste & Lawrence

Short Film Review by Taryll Baker


Have you ever been watching your favourite show on television to be interrupted with a number of exasperating adverts that play out much longer than they should? Social Networking Socially - Society Through Technology is one of those adverts.

This could just be down to my sense of humour, but Paul Murphy’s award-winning short film just doesn’t seem funny at all. With a duration of only 3 minutes, how is it that the film seems to feel longer than its title name? Again, I’m biased because my humour is very different to that being delivered here, so I’ll ignore that for now. The film itself is wonderfully crafted, and to quote the description - “shot with Canon 518 on one cartridge of Kodak Vision3 200t Super 8 film with only in-camera edits and no post-production.” - it’s clearly been thoughtfully executed.

Comedy duo Haiste & Lawrence narrate the picture with an exaggerated delivery of lines that brings us back to the 1960s era of televised advertising. The concept is brilliant and it had me excited, but the final product doesn’t perform well enough for it to be deserving of its critical acclaim. I appreciate the filmmaking and the talent working behind the camera, however I never once feel the same way when watching the film itself.

Let’s take a step back. Imagine living in the 60s just as the internet is sparking up, becoming as big and as important as it is today, but of course, no one knows how to use it. Sounds cool, original and funny, right? There’s so much to play around with, yet in Social Networking Socially, it never seems to take off from the mindless fun to explore different areas, both good and bad, which disappoints me.

The short film uses an old-fashioned, funky instrumental that ultimately gives it that 60s feel, but quickly and with no hesitation, becomes one of the repetitive annoyances present throughout. The locations used are fitting, aided by the artistically shoddy and stylistic camerawork and are one of, if not the only, saving grace.

If the filmmakers’ goal was to irritate the viewer, then they have succeeded. Maybe this is aimed at those born in or before the 1960s, in which case I’m not at liberty to criticise, but for my comedy preference and sense of humour, this short is incredibly underwhelming.

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