Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catfish Review

Yaniv Schulman: If this is your documentary, you're doing a bad job.
Ariel Schulman: Why?
Yaniv Schulman: Because you're catching me when I don't want to talk about things.
Ariel Schulman: How should we do it?
Yaniv Schulman: Set it up, organize a time with me, put together some materials, emails, we'll get the Facebook conversations printed out and we'll really talk about it.
            These are the opening lines from the 2010 documentary, Catfish, starring Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman, and Henry Joost as themselves. It tells the suspenseful and enthralling story of Yaniv’s romance with a girl he meets through Facebook. This documentary was directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost and filmed in their apartment along with various other locations around the Midwest. The film was produced by Rogue Pictures and had a limited release in theaters on September 17, 2010.
            Yaniv, who also goes by Nev, is a photographer who lives with the other two main characters, Henry and Ariel, in an apartment in Manhattan. The story begins with Nev getting a photo published in a newspaper and then receiving a painting of the photo in the mail from a little girl in Michigan named Abby. After corresponding with Abby and her mother through Facebook and on the phone, Nev gets a friend request from Abby’s older sister, Megan. This begins an online relationship between the two. Their romance goes well for a while, until things begin to take an unsettling twist.
            There were two things that really separated this film from being a run-of-the-mill documentary: the cinematography and the soundtrack. The cinematography was phenomenal in my opinion. I like how they ordered the movie, starting it with a scene that was partway through the story and then going back to the beginning. I especially loved how they showed the Facebook conversations and pictures. The soundtrack was also incredible. While watching the movie I kept thinking how good the music is, which is not something I usually notice in movies. The music was very unique and it always fit the scene perfectly. Towards the end, it gave the movie a bit of a dreamy quality, which I believe was a perfect way to end it.
            I would definitely give this film a “thumbs up.” Any fan of suspense and drama will thoroughly enjoy seeing this movie. The music, the filming, the characters- all of it was both riveting and intriguing. It is incredible how a real-life documentary could become such a fascinating work of movie magic. It is sometimes hard to believe the story is real while watching, but that just makes it all the more captivating. This is truly what I would call a work of art. I would highly recommend this film.

Catfish Review Edits

I edited Kelly Goblirsch and Mara Bertelsen's Catfish reviews.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Final thoughts on Catfish...

I really thought this was a great movie!  The cinematography and music were really really good. I thought the story was ridiculous too. To be honest I think Nev was kind of stupid to pursue a relationship that long without ever Skyping or video chatting in any way and also when she only had 16 friends who looked pretty obviously fake. I'm gotten many requests from fake profiles and I think they're very easy to spot. Her pictures were way too good to be real and NO ONE her age would have only 16 friends, especially one who's that pretty and outgoing. In general I think internet relationships are a bad idea. Unless it's just a friendly pen-pal type relationship, you shouldn't be that involved with somebody without meeting them in person.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More thoughts on Catfish...

I'm still liking this movie a lot! It's crazy how it's actually real. It seems like such a ridiclous plot. I can see how people would think it was fake. Another thing I think Nev should have noticed is that Meg only had 16 friends, which is absolutely ridiculous for a 19 year-old girl with over 300 pictures

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some thoughts on Catfish...

So far I like the movie a lot. It's really interesting and it draws you in. It's crazy how it's actually a real story. The one thing that makes no sense to me at all is that Nev never asked Megan or Abby or any of them to Skype. If they barely knew each other and just became Facebook friends or something then I can understand how that would be awkward, but he and Megan were basically a couple after they'd been talking for a while. I know I would have wanted to talk to her in person for sure.
I'm really excited to see what happens when they go to Megan's house. I think it's probably all one lady faking the voices of Megan, Angela, and Abby, and controlling all of them and Alex and the dad's Facebooks. It was dumb of whoever is playing Megan to post those songs under the same name though I think. Someone who's that good at faking all this stuff would have been smart enough not to do that in my opinion.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Facebook Paper

Ever since its creation only six years ago in 2004, Facebook has had an enormous impact on modern society. It has changed the way millions communicate and go about their daily lives. There are many positive things that have come from the Facebook craze that seems to have taken over our country.
            One obvious good thing that Facebook allows people to do is easily communicate with friends they already know in real life. Since everyone’s username is their real name, it is extremely easy to find your friends and start commenting on their statuses, writing on their “walls,” and, of course, “poking” them. Facebook is a more convenient form of communication than email because it is less formal and you can easily send a message to someone without knowing their email address. Another benefit of Facebook is the ability to learn all about what’s going on in your friend’s lives through status updates, pictures, links and notes they post to their profiles. You can also see the mini biographies they create that include information such as where they work, their interests, and their political preferences. Facebook makes all this information easily accessible to anyone you are friends with, which can be very convenient. Another big draw Facebook has is the opportunity to meet new friends you would not otherwise ever meet. It allows you to get to know new people who share an interest, location, job, or perhaps nothing at all with you. I personally do not use Facebook this way, but I can understand how someone looking to make new friends might find this method very appealing.
            Although Facebook has many positive elements that can enrich our lives when utilized, it, like any new technology, has its downsides. One of the most criticized negatives of Facebook is its lack of privacy. Once you’ve accepted someone’s friend request, they instantly have access to your email, gender, birthday, address, phone number, and whatever else you choose to post. Though there are many settings and safeguards users can put in place to help keep their most personal information hidden from unwanted eyes, the majority of people aren’t nearly as careful as they should be about protecting this information. This can become a serious issue when people accept friend requests from users they do not already know. These users then have access to a plethora of information that could be used in ways that would be very harmful to the person being stalked.
            A second major negative to Facebook is the ability people have to lie through it. Although meeting new people in a safe manner can be beneficial and fun, it is far too easy to fabricate the information you put on your profile. Joe Smith, another 18 year old from across town who also likes classical music, might really be Ebenezer Sloan, a 58 year old predator using Facebook to meet high school girls. It is impossible to tell if someone is faking a profile or not, which can make online friend-finding very dangerous.
            Overall, I believe Facebook is a good thing and a very convenient new technology. It makes it easy for me to chat with my friends, both close to home and in other countries, and see what’s going on in their lives. However, like any complex new technology, Facebook needs to be used in a smart and careful way to avoid its potential dangers. If used in a safe way, Facebook can enrich one’s life tremendously.