Pixel (Ben Gageik) is a 22-year-old small-town blogger: Everyone can read about him and his friends online. His blog "Pixelschatten" used to be the hippest thing in town, but now the local ...
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Pixel (Ben Gageik) is a 22-year-old small-town blogger: Everyone can read about him and his friends online. His blog "Pixelschatten" used to be the hippest thing in town, but now the local fame has faded away. His friends go to college, have new friends and interests, and his girlfriend Suse (Zora Klostermann) is irritated by the private issues revealed on the blog. When Pixel realizes that everyone but him is moving on, he changes all their lives with just one post... Written by
Pixelschatten is a film of our times, a poignant look at friendship and love and what it means to come of age in a digital world. The film follows small-town blogger, Pixel, as he documents the life and times of his friends, which mostly amounts to parties, drinking and taking cheap shots at his roommate Lutz. Though his blog, Pixelschatten, was once a town-wide sensation, from the outset it seems as if his following is waning. Even Pixel's friends have mostly lost interest in it. This mimic's Pixel's own existential angst, as, seemingly, all his friends have moved on, while he's still very much stuck in the past. The most touching element of the film is Pixel's relationship with his girlfriend, Suse. Her anxiety surrounding her boyfriends very public online persona perfectly illustrates the films exploration of what identity means in the age of social media.
The film is comparable to the work of American "mumblecore" directors like Aaron Katz and, especially, Joe Swanberg, whose 2006 film "LOL" also looks at the new ways relationships are being navigated in a digital culture. Pixelschatten is filmed almost exclusively with POV shots. Though this may initially strike people as gimmicky, it coincides with the movie on a thematic level. Furthermore, it is broken up with various looks into Pixel's blog: the posts, the comments and the videos Pixel himself makes. All of this is clearly reminiscent of the increasing convergence of media forms that shape our own experience as two-point-oh individuals.
The film's tag line -- "our life is online" -- is all well and good, but Pixelschatten itself seems to contradict this. While the online presence of its characters necessarily shapes their offline lives, it is the latter, their "real" lives, that are a place of personal, internal struggle. Although the Internet can provide us with a place to share and validate ourselves, by the film's conclusion we learn, what happens there is superficial and potentially false. Ultimately, what's most important in life cannot be translated and rendered online, but rather happens in the little moments with real friends.
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