Log Off Film Critique

Log Off, created by Jean-Charles Couty is a compelling piece on the dangers of “hyperconnectivity.” The film, which is just over four minutes long, won Best Experimental Film at the 2016 TMC London Film Festival. Log Off depicts the ways is in which social media and technology impact our generation; specifically, this piece centers around a young woman. In the film, she awakens alone in the woods and encounters a black mass made up of electricity and a dark cloudy fog. The film delves deeper into her psyche, and shows us the chaos inside. This film is both aesthetically and auditorily pleasing, with visually appealing production design and a moody electronic soundtrack. I would definitely recommend it, especially to the younger generation or to my fellow communications students, who have grown up with advanced technology and social media.

The cinematography of Log Off is very strong. My favorite scenes are the ones in the forest, where the girl is shot at a diagonal angle. The camera captures her at an angle which causes her to point down, creating the feeling that she is going to fall or slide offscreen. In the scene where she encounters the black mass of electricity, the girl and camera are positioned further down the hill, looking up at the cloud. This makes the girl seems powerless in comparison to the cloud, which represents technology.

The second half of the film is shot mainly in a black room, where the girl is either lit from the front or illuminated with what looks like a projection of different scenes. She is facing the camera head-on in a series of medium shots and close-ups, which creates the feeling of vulnerability. The camera is in crisp focus when she is fully lit, making her movements seem almost unrealistic because they are in such sharp focus. When she is illuminated by the projection of different flashing lights, the shots alternate between medium shots, close-ups and extreme close-ups of her eyes during the short moments of darkness between them. This creates an eerie effect, because you never know how close the next shot will be.

During this sequence, the final extreme close-up of her eye shows a flashing light within it, which brings us back to the forest. After the woman falls to the ground, still on a downward slope, the film cuts to a wide shot of the empty, foggy mountains surrounding her. This contrasts greatly with the vivid imagery of the flashing lights moments before. The final shot is a pan up from the woman lying on the ground to a POV shot of her looking at the trees. This mirrors the beginning of the film, which pans from a shot of the trees down to the woman lying on the ground.

Log Off is thought-provoking and powerful. The cinematography aids in contrasting the calm of nature with the activity of social media, and effectively demonstrates this woman’s descent into the digital world.


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