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Smartphones in Cinema and TV – A Missed Opportunity?

The Cameraman (1928) An Unseen Enemy (1912) The Cameraman (1928) Metropolis (1927) The Cameraman(1928) The Lodger(1927) The Cameraman (1928) His Girl Friday (1940) Grand Hotel (1932) Bullit (1968) Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) Police Story (1985) Juno (2007) The Cameraman (1928) The Cameraman (1928) Bowfinger (1999) Lethal Weapon (1987) Wall Street (1987) The Matrix (1999) The Bourne Identity (2002) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Skam (2015-) Skyfall (2012) 2001: A Space Odissey (1967) Seinfeld(1989-1998) Police Story (1985) Phone Booth (2002) Moonlight (2016) Community (2009-Still waiting for that movie) A brief Look at Texting and the Internet… (2014) Dexter (2006-2013) The Departed (2006) Non-Stop (2012) Her (2013) Skam (2015-) E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Psycho (1960) Memento (1999) House of Cards (2013-) Moonlight (2016) Up in the Air (2009)


  1. Adrian Doll Author

    This is an outstanding video essay. You don't only have a great point, but you also prove it by using forms of editing and compositing never done in other video essays before. Keep up your great work! 🙂

  2. Mr Nerdista Author

    The production value on this is mind-blowing. Great video, once again. Bewildering how you're not one of the titans of our community.

  3. J.D. Funari Author

    Great piece. I always felt like Departed was one of the best early depictions of text on screen and isn't dated by the distracting float-tracking so often used nowadays.

  4. What's So Great About That? Author

    This is a fantastic look at something that I don't think is analysed enough in cinema. The implications of technology, their emotional and social impact, is a very important thing to consider. Really amazing video, I love you use of graphics and typography too. Can't believe I didn't discover these videos sooner!

  5. Dr. Udru Author

    Great job! This really got me thinking about the implications of physical absence in modern communication. In filmmaking, but also in everyday life.

  6. Peter Trempe Author

    Hey ralphthemoviemaker – Where are you? You're missing out on this little snuggle puddle of YouTube cinema nerd-love!! Everyone's here! 😛

  7. Craparella Smørrebrød Author

    0:53 Hey that cut at 0min55seconds is the best cut in a youtube video I've seen this week! Also, the credits claims that there is something called "Schindler's List Grand Hotel"? I don't think so 🙂

  8. Estranhosidade Blog Author

    Hi dude, I just found out your channel in a subreddit. LOVE IT!

    I think one of the issues that you touched here is the fact that…most stories that we create, or at least a good part of them, take place in the "real" world and in the current real world (planet earth, 2017).

    And since we use things from real world reality, the technological evolution happening in the real world ends up being embedded in the stories that we imagine. And this doesn't happen only with smartphones but with everything: driverless cars, artificial intelligence, laptops and so on.

    And this, of course, alters the stories that we can, realistically, create – in other words: many movies wouldn't work in our current world because it wouldn't make any sense due technological progress. Like, suspense movies suffers a lot with this – since now we can just get our phones and call the police. And they usually make up an excuse for why the character smartphone is not working.

    So I think we are learning which stories, taking place in the current real world, we can create.

    Side note: It's also pretty interesting this relation between the real world and the fiction world. I mean, it's funny because, for instance, it was totally possible for us to create a movie, like, I don't know "The Ring" in 1940. We didn't need to have invented the VCR in real life to create "The Ring" story. But this didn't happened.

    Anyway, amazing video! Oh, sorry for any grammar mistake haha English is not my first language.

  9. Duke Johnson Author

    Nice editing, but this video needs work. I've look through the comments, and I've seen no criticism, so I'll throw my cents in.

    This video doesn't have a point. It seems to have little understanding of the Every Frame a Painting video, given that by the end you criticize Director's for not implementing more texting in movies while EFaP shows the difficulty in the form of showing a text in film and uses it's examples to show the highs and lows of those endeavors, concluding that we should consider further how else we might stretch the limits of the medium into something new.

    It's not until halfway through the video you take a break from montages of phones in film and Seinfeld to even make a point. This video is trying to be a video essay, but it has no idea how to structure itself. Where is the thesis? What idea am I supposed to take home with me?

    Texting is a part of our modern lives?
    Movies don't show how we communicate now?
    Texting is distinct in communications because it involves no physical presence? Is writing a letter not divorced from physical humans but also older and more distant?
    How do we better integrate technology into our movies? That's what you appear to say at 3:18, if this was EFaP's video we'd already be over halfway over and you just introduced your angle. Which might be ok, except that was the central focus of the entire EFaP video. You go to your example that Better Things does a good job personifying the phone as if nothing has ever been personified.

    Overall, you spend all 8 and a half minutes of this video describing different films or letting random comedy clips play and smugly show that you're the kind of person who can disagree with a popular figure. Yet, somehow never actually bring up anything that really disagrees with EFaP or brings anything new to the conversation. The thing that separates this video from great video essays is that great video essays don't fall apart when you remember written letters exist.

  10. Evanthia Xanthaki Author

    Great content. One might say there is physical quality in sight? Anything that provokes a response is a tool ; even those tiny pixelated letters. I don't think you were arguing against it though; so I'm not sure what point I was trying to make ; something about physics and light I guess.

  11. Cian Ryan Author

    That edit of George Castanza tossing up the orange and then Jackie Chan catching a pencil is one of the best cuts I've ever seen in a video essay. My friend it would make Walter Murch himself swoon.


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