Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death and TechnologyClosed Captioning
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Have you ever faked a restroom trip to check your email? Slept with your laptop? Or become so overwhelmed that you just unplugged from it all? In this funny, eye-opening, and inspiring film, director Tiffany Shlain takes audiences on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride to discover what it means to be connected in the 21st century. From founding The Webby Awards to being a passionate advocate for The National Day of Unplugging, her love/hate relationship with technology serves as the springboard for a thrilling exploration of modern life...and our interconnected future. Equal parts documentary and memoir, the film unfolds during a year in which technology and science literally become a matter of life and death for the director. As Shlain's father battles brain cancer and she confronts a high-risk pregnancy, her very understanding of connection is challenged. Using a brilliant mix of animation, archival footage, and home movies, Shlain reveals the surprising ties that link us not only to the people we love but also to the world at large. A personal film with universal relevance, CONNECTED explores how, after centuries of declaring our independence, it may be time for us to declare our interdependence instead.
Inspiration for the Classroom and for Life
I ordered the Educator's Kit after viewing Connected because I felt it was such an important message for my students to hear. This extraordinary film delivers a powerful message about the importance of deep connections in creating a healthy and happy future. Developmentally, adolescent students are so focused on themselves, they often can't see the bigger picture of how their actions ripple out to impact others. Exploration of the idea that each one of them is interdependent on something or someone thousands of miles away definitely encourages them to think outside the box and to challenges conventional wisdom -- which is exactly what we need if we're going to change the world in a positive way. Discussion since I've shown this movie had had a ripple effect of its own. Talk has turned to action and my 16 and 17 year old students have welcomed the opportunity to make this world we all live in better for EVERYONE!!
A Triple Threat Movie by Tiffany Shlain
Just saw Tiffany Shlain's documentary Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology.
The movie is actually three in one -
1. Connected is a sagely and even delightfully presented story of our interconnectedness as a species - among ourselves, all living things, and the technologies through which extend ourselves and give substance to our imaginations, plans, and desires. In its warnings about what we can do wrong - such as Mao's killing of sparrows to improve harvests (sparrows eat seeds) which resulted in massive crop failure (fewer sparrows resulted in more locusts, also eaten by sparrows) - Connected is cousin to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. In the hope it holds out for our new media, it is the kind of movie Buckminster Fuller might have made.
2. Connected is a passionate biography of Leonard Shlain (1937-2009) - Tiffany's father - whose The Alphabet versus the Goddess (1999) argued that the advent of the alphabet over earlier forms of writing encouraged masculine thinking and dominance. In its daring media determinism and historical sweep, the book put Leonard Shlain on a par with Julian Jaynes as a worthy successor to Marshall McLuhan in provocative and mind-opening hypothesis.
3. But Connected is most of all an autobiography of Tiffany Shlain, who recounts her inspiration by her father, her struggle with his passing, her struggle to make sense of the curves the universe has thrown her, and in one way or another, throws at all of us. That's what it means to be an intelligent being in this world, someone who doesn't just accept what she or he finds, but seeks to understand it, get a little on top of it, and thereby have a little bit more say and control over the course of our lives and the world.
Narrated by Tiffany Shlain and Peter Coyote. Animated bits by Stefan Nadelman (of Food Fight fame). Highly recommended for students of media - indeed, for students of life.
Our high school hosted a viewing of this film nearly a year ago and folks have been talking about it since. It has "connected" the community.
I have seen the film four times, and taken away something different, but significant, each time. I especially enjoyed watching it with my teen and college age kids.
Time to watch it again!