Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Selfie review – droll Gallic eye on slaves to the algorithm

Online metrics are pillow talk, and digital secrets go public in this tragicomic portmanteau of five stories about our relationship with technology

As ever-evolving technologies produce instant gratifications and fresh horrors, Selfie sees modern life as a tragicomic minefield fraught with absurdities. This French anthology film delivers biting social critique with a side helping of je ne sais quoi wit. Across five loosely connected stories from five seasoned film-makers (including Rust and Bone scriptwriter Thomas Bidegain), human idiosyncrasies are constricted by algorithms and reduced to likes.

Though pushed to ridiculous comedic heights, Selfie’s cautionary tales are not so far-fetched. A married couple whose famous vlogs revolve around their son’s cancer scramble for content now that he is cured. In a reversal of stereotypes, a female teacher anonymously ambushes a viral male comedian with vicious tweets, only to pique his romantic interest. A seemingly content man slowly unravels as he blindly obeys his algorithmic ads. An awkward millennial manipulates his ratings on a dating app through nefarious methods. And finally, the farcical pièce de résistance: on an island with limited phone signals, a wedding goes haywire as a massive data hack reveals everyone’s dirtiest online secrets. All (digital) hell breaks loose.

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