‘We’ll Do It Live!’: Live Tweeting Critical Summary, Vol 1.

For the subject BCM325, we have been asked to participate in weekly screenings of films that pertain to the subject material. We engage with these films through live tweeting, posting both our own original tweets and interacting with other classmates tweets. In this blog post, I will be recounting and critically evaluating my experience with live tweeting thus far this semester.

Image: deSingel

Week One: Metropolis (1927)

The first week of live tweeting proved to be challenging. The tweets that I posted felt as though they were surface level observations; mostly pointing out aspects of the film and its context that I found interesting.

Given that Metropolis is a silent film, it was difficult to focus on the story while also engaging with the tweets posted by my classmates. I found that I would often miss key themes and story elements by reading the tweets on my timeline. Conversely, I would pick up on plot points that I missed through reading those tweets. These tweets provided more of an analysis of these plot points, which allowed me to further understand the themes of the film.

Additionally, I found it difficult to conduct research about the film during the screening, as I couldn’t simultaneously focus on reading articles and watching the film. As a result, I felt that my tweets this week weren’t as structured and insightful as they could have been.

Although my tweets didn’t feel as in-depth as the tweets of my peers, I received replies that further elaborated on my ideas. This allowed me to engage with the film and my peers in a more meaningful way.

Image: Tablet Magazine

Week Two: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This week, I made sure to conduct research about the film prior to the screening. I drafted several tweets focusing on important elements of the film that I was able to gain further insight on through reading articles. For example, this tweet highlighting one of the defining features of the film; the score.

By doing this I was able to pay more attention to the film and interact more with my peers, as I wasn’t trying to look up articles during the screening. I was also able to spend more time researching and reading through articles that I thought were relevant to the live tweeting experience, which meant that I didn’t feel pressured to find content to tweet within the time frame of the film. Fortunately, I had already seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, so I had a general idea of themes I could research and plot points I could discuss; making draft tweeting far easier this week.

As a result, I was able to focus on the film itself and generate tweets that were directly responding to moments in the film. This tweet, for example, was in relation to the scene where Hal sings ‘Daisy Bell’.

Image: Fiction Machine

Week Three: Westworld (1973)

Unlike the past two screenings, I had not seen Westworld (1973), nor the television remake. Hence, drafting tweets prior to the screening was difficult as I had no knowledge of the film’s plot or themes. The background research I conducted mostly included interesting facts about the film so as to avoid any major spoilers. 

The knowledge that I gained through prior research allowed me to respond to others with facts that elaborate on their tweets.

As this was the third screening, I had begun to see similarities between not only key plot points, but perhaps the context in which the film was created. Although potentially incorrect, I attempted to examine how filmmakers at the time were projecting their view of the future. Seeing as this was the first screening that was not a film I had already watched, I felt more comfortable connecting to the subject material by relating it to a film I was familiar with; that being 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Image: Story Grid

Week Four: Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner was a similar live tweeting experience to Westworld, as I had also not seen this film. While I knew of it’s cultural significance, I had no idea what the film was actually about or how it related to the subject content. This resulted in a similar debacle where I didn’t want the film spoiled entirely, but still wanted to conduct background research.

While I had several drafted tweets and made some observations about the film, most of my engagement this week was through retweeting.

My tweets this week could have been stronger. Although I was able to extend my thoughts through my responses, I felt as though my peers gave far more in-depth insights into the film. 

This is definitely an aspect of live tweeting I hope to improve over the next few screening sessions as the connection between the films and the BCM325 subject material becomes clearer. 

Image: NewStatesman

Week Five: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

This week I aimed to improve my inclusion of the lecture content. As I had completed a majority of this blog post by the screening this week, I attempted to use my self-reflection towards improving my live tweeting. I conducted prior background research that focused on topics that were discussed in the week five lecture. 

While I achieved this to a certain extent, the inclusion of lecture content in my live tweeting continues to be my main area for improvement, as evident by the lack of lecture discussion in weeks 1-4. I also attempted to focus more of my tweets on analysing the themes of the film, which included deep insights about the philosophy of what it means to be human.

By steering my background research towards the topics discussed in the lectures, and how these topics relate to the film, I should improve my tweets immensely. I also aim to practice connecting key plot points and themes to the lecture content during the screening. As we progress through the semester, I will continue to focus my live-tweeting practices on improving in these areas, which will hopefully lead to higher quality tweets in my next self-reflection post.