Live Tweeting Summary Pt. 1

Week 1: Metropolis

Metropolis (1927).

In week one, we watched the German silent film directed by Fritz Lang, Metropolis (1927). Metropolis depicts the use of future technologies as a way of dividing the classes of society and manipulating the lower class to abide to the upper class. As I progressed through the weeks, live tweeting for Metropolis was still one of the more challenging tasks. With a long run time and no dialogue, I found it hard to concentrate and come up with tweet ideas while simultaneously trying to enjoy the movie.

I didn’t prepare any tweets prior to the screening and though this did help me come up with one tweet, I often found myself at a disadvantage while engaging with the film. Luckily, I had my HSC assignments to help me out and I already understood the greater meaning behind Lang’s work, I just had to apply it to BCM325. For week one, I found that asking my peers for their opinion and focusing on aspects aside from the characters and the plot worked best for interactions.

With biblical references and imagery, Fritz Lang uses Metropolis to warn the danger of technology as an oppressive tool from the upper class. While depicted in a more obvious sense than the other movies, Metropolis sees part of society suffering at the hands of technology, while the upper class (representing corporations as we’ll see in later movies) reap its benefits.

Week 2: 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

In week two, we live tweeted to Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). This movie helped shape computational future and sparked a generation of space loving, science fiction fans. In this week’s live tweeting, I went from one extreme to another, by not having any planned tweets to now having all ten of my tweets planned out and drafted. I began to include more research into my tweets and these often help spark conversations with my peers.

Though I found myself connecting the dots between the films and the work we’ve been doing in lectures, I still felt that I wasn’t conveying this as effectively as possible. The tweet with the largest engagement for this week was a comedic tweet that played into people’s nostalgia. While I found that these types of tweets were useful in getting above the requirements, I do recognise that they’re completely unrelated to the subject readings.

Week 3: Westworld

Westworld (1973).

The science-fiction thriller Westworld was the assigned movie of week three. Westworld tells the tale of a future with an amusement park where visitors can indulge in their sexual and violent pleasures, however, the park’s robots start to turn, warning viewers of AI. This week I decided to draft seven tweets and have my remaining three be improvised during the screening. I found this method useful as it removed stress from me and allowed me to enjoy the movie while also meeting the requirements.

Additionally, I started to draw more comparisons from the lectures and readings such as Delo’s Laws of the Futures. This received more critical engagement with my tweets and because this was a goal of mine from the start, I was pleased to see it happening. In week three, I realised that the best approach to live tweeting is to have a balance of fun facts, questions, memes and critical thinking.

Westworld shows viewers how our use of technology for personal pleasure can quickly turn awry, and develops the idea of AI gone wrong from last week’s movie.

Week 4: Blade Runner

Blade Runner (1982).

Week four’s movie was Ridley Scott’s legendary, Blade Runner (1982). Blade Runner begins to blur the line between human and android, and has us guessing the morality of this division. In this week, I felt as though I found my stride as I was able to provide a commentary to the movie with reference to the readings and the lecture content.

Additionally, I began to retweet a lot more and continued to ask questions to involve my peers in an open discussion. I made the effort of trying to reply to everyone who would comment on my posts, to try and draw out a larger conversation regarding the topic.

Week 5: Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (1995).

In week five of BCM325, we watched the anime movie Ghost in the Shell (1995). Ghost in the Shell forces us to question our own humanity as our lifestyle continues to adopt more and more technology into everyday use. Despite wanting to draft my tweets prior to the screening, I went into this class with only 3 drafted tweets, thankfully, I was able to use IMDb‘s trivia option to find some fun facts about the movie.

Another thing I have recently found, is that tweets with images, gifs or videos will often do better than a tweet without. As I completed this while reviewing my peer’s pitches, I have learnt how essential a multimedia element is.

Again, I decided to retweet and like more than usual to engage as much as possible, something that I want to continue to do. Here are a few of my favourite tweets from week five:

Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner both see androids and humans living together, blurring the line between technology and humanity. Although we see benefits to future technologies in these movies, we’re left to contemplate if the reward is worth the risk. Even though there are certain elements of these films that aren’t yet reality, I found myself questioning my own humanity and the morality of technology within our society.

Moving into the second stage of our live tweeting, I am going to continue planning my tweets but I am determined to draw further comparisons and relate back to the lectures and readings. This was an area that I need to work on and it will be worthwhile to do so to help my understanding of the subject and add valuable insight that may be useful to my digital artefact. Additionally, I intend on engaging in more conversations and increasing my interactions through likes, comments and retweets.

Frank Tremain.

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