Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catfish Movie Review

The use of social networks has increased greatly over the past few years. There are over 600 million Facebook users worldwide and it is growing each day. People use it to connect with others and share pictures, form friendships, and even to develop romantic relationships. It is accessible nearly everywhere. A documentary was recently made about how a 24-year-old Facebook user in New York named Yaniv, connected with another Facebook user, an 8-year-old girl from a small town thousands of miles away in Michigan named Abby. They exchanged messages over a 9-month period and formed a friendship which broadened to Abby’s family. This film is full of exciting twists and turns but began to unravel once Yaniv takes a trip to Ishpeming, Michigan for a surprise visit.
At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary Catfish made its premiere. It was directed by two young men, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who is the brother of Yaniv, or Nev, Schulman- the star of the film. Rogue Pictures acquired the film after a bidding war with Paramount Pictures and released it on DVD and Blu-ray at the beginning of this year. Some people speculate whether or not the documentary is 100% true. The makers of the film stand by their statements that the events were purely coincidence and luck. They say that that is exactly how the story happened. Catfish is a documentary about how you can form friendships with people but you cannot always believe what they are putting on their profile. The internet is an easy place to disguise yourself and deceive others.
Catfish is filled with many events that keep you guessing and wondering what the truth really is. Each character adds a unique and exciting element to the film. Nev Schulman is a photographer from New York. The documentary is made about his life and how he has formed relationships with a family through Facebook. It all began when he received a painting of one of his pictures in the mail. It was said to be done by a girl named Abby. Abby told Nev about herself through Facebook messages and he learned that she loved to do art and ride horses. He continued to send her pictures he was taking, and she would send back amazing paintings. Nev also formed a relationship with Abby’s mother, Angela. Nev really liked Angela and felt that she was a very normal woman and a good mom. Nev also got involved with Abby’s older sister named Megan. Megan was a beautiful 19-year-old girl with a soft, mature voice and Nev loved everything about her. They messaged each other on the computer, sent text messages back and forth, and even talked on the phone. Megan loved to sing, dance, and also do art. She lived on a farm and had a barn for her horses. Nev had fallen in love with this girl and he had yet to even see her in person. He felt that a trip to Michigan was the only way he could truly see where things would go.
The idea and the way this movie was filmed is very interesting. The three guys who decided to make this could not have possibly known there were going to be so many twists when they first began the documentary. They did a great job of catching many different angles throughout the entire film. They seemed to always have two cameras handy that filmed from different perspectives. In the car especially, they had one camera that was on the dashboard showing all of the passengers and another was in the hand of the guy in the backseat. That camera was on Nev and they would cut to that when he was talking to really focus on only his emotions. The way they used the cameras and organized the documentary was entertaining.
Catfish is a documentary that I would definitely recommend. I probably would not have heard of it if it weren’t for this class, so I am thankful we got the opportunity to watch it. I think people in high school and older would really enjoy this film, especially those who use Facebook frequently. It is captivating but also teaches a lesson at the same time. Younger Facebook users can learn the dangers of the internet and how they should make their profiles private. You never know what kind of people might view your profile. The movie was great because it really shows how Facebook and other social networks will grow in the future and be used for more and more everyday things. I also like the way it was constantly keeping my attention and the ending was nothing that I had imagined. I give Catfish two thumbs up!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catfish - Freewriting #3

Catfish was a very good movie. I find it so shocking that all of that is 100% true and unscripted. I can't believe one person could manage to do all of that and manipulate someone. Angela still lied to Nev when she was confronted about the people in the pictures. She said there really was a girl named Megan at Dawn Farms but there really wasn't. The girl in the pictures was said to be a family friend, but really she was a professional model and photographer that lives in Washington. I feel really bad for Nev that he had to be put through 9 months and over 1,500 messages of lies. But in the end, I think that both Nev and Angela got some positive things out of this. Angela is now known and people can buy her paintings and Nev is going to get a good leg in the movie business because he got top awards on his documentary.
Overall I thought this was an interesting movie. The way they filmed it was cool. I am very glad that we watched this in class because otherwise I would have probably never heard of it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catfish - Freewriting #2

The part of the movie we watched today was very exciting and a lot of things were answered. I am amazed that one person could make multiple facebook profiles and have stories for each person to pull off this thing for 8 months. We found out that Angela is nothing the way she looks. Megan is in rehab and has never spoken with Nev. Angela is the voice of Megan. It is really funny but also sad that Nev had a relationship and had steamy texts with a 40+ year old woman.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catfish - Freewriting

This movie has been very interesting thus far. I like the main guy character, Nev. He seems to have a good personality and he has been cooperative to have a movie filmed about his life. It is really weird how he began to have a relationship with a girl he has never met before on Facebook. Megan seemed like she was very real at the beginning but now I am very skeptical. The family does not seem like they can be trusted after they posted songs that sounded identical to YouTube videos. They also lied about the gallery opening and that seems a little odd. I am eager to see what happens when the three guys leave Vail and drive to Michigan where Abby, Angela, and Megan live. There are a lot of things to discover and I am looking forward to seeing more and the end of the movie. I find it hard to believe that this is actually happening in real life too. It seems like something they could have written. I do not know if Abby and her family or trying to scam Nev, but it seems like she is just sending him the paintings because she wants to, not because he is paying for them. I have really enjoyed watching the movie this first day.

Friday, December 17, 2010

In what ways is mobile technology changing our society?

            Mobile technology has become an enormous part of our society. Although there are many benefits to this technology, there are also some negatives.
Mobile phones have changed our society in many positive and beneficial ways. People are more closely connected and it is much easier to move information from one person to the next. A simple text message can be sent, and within seconds the other person has received it and can reply back. Cell phones make it very easy to communicate with people in an accelerated manner. People are able to send out mass text messages to inform people of upcoming or important events. Also, we can receive notifications from different providers to stay up to date on different things such as sports games and the weather. Conversations can occur in nearly any place at any time. You can be thousands of miles away from someone, and talking to them is still accessible through this technology. Having mobile phones has also made e-mail more available. People no longer have to be at their home computer in order to check their e-mails. They can do so on their phones and that allows them to stay in contact with others. Internet on cell phones has also become very popular. News on websites can be acquired with a few simple taps or clicks no matter where you are. Most phones do not require Wi-Fi connections so you can go on the internet whenever and wherever you please. Social networking sites have started to become more and more popular, too. Mobile technology allows us to access these sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Blogger and update them from our cell phones. People can tweet about their lives and constantly tell their followers what they are doing. Finally, one of the most important things about cell phones is that they are easy to use in emergency situations. If something bad were to happen, calling someone for help is not a difficult task. Being able to do all of these things has greatly increased multitasking in our society and has benefitted many mobile technology users. Mobile technology has been very helpful.
            On the opposite side of things, mobile technology has changed our society negatively. Phones are no longer associated with a location, like a home phone would be, but rather the specific person. A person is expected to pick up when they are called because they do not have the excuse of not being home to answer. People rely on their phones for everything and some even feel lost without them. Phones are even treated as pets. There are decorative cases for them, special holders, and people keep them by their sides at all times. It is nearly impossible to take a true vacation anymore because employers can call you when you are out of town. Since you are able to check your work e-mails, you are still connected with work and are not really taking a break. Some people have also gotten in trouble or even fired from their job for lying to their boss about why they will not be at work then posting differently on one of their social networking sites. Privacy has been sacrificed because of the simplicity of cell phones and how easily accessible they make things. Society has also started to become acclimated to people using their phones in any situation. Some people feel it is alright to answer their phones at the dinner table or when having a conversation with someone. Talking on cell phones in public is very popular and is no longer strange to see. Another popular, but dangerous thing is the fact that people have also begun to think using cell phones while driving is okay. Mobile phones are very distracting and thousands of people get in crashes every year because of talking or texting while driving.
            The simplicity and easy access to mobile technology has greatly impacted our society in many ways. It has positively and negatively changed how the population lives.