Sunday February 25th 2018



SXSW : Digital doubt, worried about unplugging ? Some of this years film themes examine the digital revolution on our daily lives.


Unplug! montage: J Fowler

As we all get our daily, or minute-to-minute news updates about the crisis in Japan, the question being asked by some of the filmmakers at SXSW is, does this instant digital technology make us better informed, happier, or more productive?

NY Times reports : “It would be too much to say that this year’s South by Southwest festival, which embraces movies, music and all manner of things technological, has taken a Luddite turn.  But the big questions — Do all those connections make you happy? Or more productive? Or more profound? — have turned into a discernible theme of the film program and in many of the panel discussions that constitute the festival, which ends Sunday.”

Some films tackle the issue head-on.  The documentary film about ‘fear, hope and digital culture’“PressPausePlay,” examines whether the digital revolution has helped or hurt art.  Interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era such as Moby, Robyn, Sean Parker and Seth Godin, among others are featured in the documentary.

Another film, “Small, Beautifully Moving Parts,”about a young woman who is forced off the grid by her unexpected pregnancy examines the implications of life without digital noise.  “Do you ever feel closer to the technology in your life, rather than the people in your life?” the movie’s heroine, a worried young techno-wizard named Sarah Sparks, asks someone on the street.  A committed tech-geek,  she fears she is more interested in ultrasound technology than in what’s being ultra-sounded.

Digital addiction, digital distraction, digital noise.  All play out in our lives to a certain degree, now its up to us to create our own filter.  Unplug for a day,  a weekend,  or just minutes a day… let’s model behavior for each other, and for the future generations.  By doing so, we can remember what it used to look like, when we weren’t always plugged in.  Otherwise, we risk losing the ability to just “be” ~ it’s good for everyone.

Song title says it all, released in March, 1970, the final single released by The Beatles while the band was still active.


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