This rich essay searches for new ways of being together in the age of social media. We arrange our lives to impress the gaze of others and have become accustomed to being seen. For many young people, however, the party is over. Neoliberalism has made murderous competition the norm; and in the meantime, the planet is dying. Following the unmasking of Facebook’s real motives, more and more people are deleting their Facebook accounts – but this often results in social death. The first image in Possessed sets the tone: liquefied lead runs over burning smartphones, followed by images of a devastated neighbourhood in Aleppo. Even the smartphones have not survived the attack.

Metahaven and Rob Schröder have created a sophisticated visual collage from these burning issues, using everything from make-up tutorials and FBI facial recognition to selfies of men risking their lives by climbing into cranes. Obsessed by their own image, people are now looking for a new, personal way to relate to others, somewhere between the cracks and voids of the system.

The chains of social media must be cast off, but the perpetual question remains: Who is looking out for you? Academics Alex Williams (University of East Anglia) and Nick Srnicek (King's College London) address this crucial question, along with other issues. Olivia Lonsdale plays an obsessed woman from the other side, supported by super-cooled electronic music by Laurel Halo.

As part of Critics’ Choice, the screening will be preceded by a video essay by Team Metaprocessed

Filmmaker
Metahaven, Rob Schröder
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
2018
Medium
DCP
Length
67’
Language
English
Producer
Wilant Boekelman, René Huybrechtse, Rogier Kramer, Ernst de Jong
Production Company
Dutch Mountain Film
Sales
Dutch Mountain Film
Writer
Rob Schröder, Daniël van der Velden, Vinca Kruk
Cinematography
Remko Schnorr
Editor
Wouter van Luijn, Rob Schröder, Daniël van der Velden, Vinca Kruk
Sound Design
Ranko Paukovic
Music
Laurel Halo
Cast
Olivia Lonsdale, Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
Website
http://metahaven.net/