Look Up

One cannot deny the impact of Netflix on popular culture, it’s a common topic of conversation among friends, and journalists write about it on prominent media. Even though most content tends to be highly commercial, with a particular focus on light entertainment, there are a few films that are actually thought-provoking.

The Tinder Swindler is a documentary that anyone on online dating should watch, not only to alert against the danger of connecting with criminals, but also to question our legal system and justice itself, and above all challenge deeply ingrained stereotypes.

Regarding straight relationships in particular, men tend to look for pretty girls and women for the prince from their childhood bedtime stories. Isn’t it about time to challenge these limiting mainstream perceptions?

And one cannot forget The Social Dilemma, an eye-opener about the ongoing social media manipulation purely driven by profit, and the urgent need to bring basic human values to the tech industry.

I also have to mention Don’t Look Up, directed by Adam McKay with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep, focused on climate change and the alarming complacency of governments and media.

But the film that touched me the most was actually produced in 2011. I do love the work of Andrew Niccol, particularly Gattaca, a 1997 sci-fi about genetic engineering, and his film In Time with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried really struck a chord.

Would we live differently if we knew exactly how much time we had before our death? Would we still stare at our mobile and laptop screens for so many hours per day? Would we still be keen to spend our time in virtual reality games and shops? Would these still be seen as a business opportunity?

"Watch out, the world's behind you..." Nico and The Velvet Underground

In a way, we are already paying with our time, technology has become more and more intrusive, by purchasing WhatsApp, Facebook/Meta no longer needs us to identify our friends and family into neat little groups. Our privacy is simply elusive.

All tech giants and apps compete for our time to make money, so it is already our greatest commodity. It’s important to realise this and manage our screen time. We do need to look up if we don’t want our life to slip through our fingers. That would be a shame!