They're Watching Us

>> Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The thing with our office (Al Ustaz Educ. Centre, see pic, click to enlarge) is that our internet connection is hooked up through LAN via the computer shop next door. So while the speed is fast, the internet connection also observes office hours. When the computer shop closes, all of my LimeWire downloads are put on hold. And that is why last night when the PCGuys decided to close early, I watched Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, one of the movies I have previously downloaded.

I have been excited about the movie since I heard about it last year mainly because of the animation (a style called Rotoscope ie A-ha's Take On Me Video where actual film footage is traced over to create an animated effect). It has been done before (like Linklater's Waking Life and even in some Disney movies) but I think it's the first time that big stars were cast in this kind of animation style.

I did not have great expectations for the movie because I had no idea what it was all about. So when the film bluntly gave the storyline in the first sequence I was all ready to be blown away. Drugs in future Los Angeles and in Rotoscope.

I was so glad the movie didn't become a Hollywood cliche, rather it stood its ground and just let the darkly funny narrative flow. It was so sarcastically witty and wildly comic that it's almost hard to tell whether you're supposed to laugh or genuinely feel sorry for the tragic characters.

The actors were so good you could almost forget they're animated. As usual, Keanu Reeves was at his best because his character only required so much from him so there were a lot of "whoas" and "hummms". Robert Downey Jr and Woody Harrelson stole the show for the most part and Winona Ryder stole jewelry. Aw! She needed to work but had to disguise herself in an animated film so people won't recognize her from the wanted posters. Aw! Seriously, I'd say Winona already redeemed herself when she appeared as a flamed actress in Simone and with Darkly, she's off to win our hearts again or the Heart of the Ocean (jewelry again? Aw!). Ok enough Winona jokes.

Before this post turns into a full blown review allow me to change the subject. I only meant to say I watched A Scanner Darkly and I loved it. It made me wonder if the paranoia that the characters displayed in the movie were because of drugs or if close surveillance is bound to happen in the future. Wow, six paragraphs before we got to the topic of the post. Sorry I got carried away with Darkly.

Anyway, in the movie, Keanu Reeves played a cop who monitors junkies Big Brother style with people caught on cam trippin on a new drug called "D". I thought man if this was possible I'm already listing my channels now. Channel Cruise and Holmes. Channel Pitt and Jolie. Channel Oprah, oh wait, she's already on Star World.

The idea of people watching your every move is scary...and perhaps a little kinky (the exhibitionist in me! =) so today I tried to look for GPS thingies and the best one I could get my mouse on (freeware of course) was Google Earth ( It's not a live cam thing so don't run out of the house just yet and wave at the sky. Yes Google Earth shows pictures of the earth from space such that potholes from your street can be seen. It's a cool program and I've already located my places in Bacolod, Davao and Qatar. Aside from viewing an actual map of your locale you also get to see what kind of trash people keep on their rooftops, and yeah it brings nostalgia to the homesick OFW because you get to see your street back home.

I hope someday soon we could get live streams from around the world for free (or if it exists already would somebody please tell me how to do it?) that way we, people who are far from home, will still get to see our neighborhood in action.
Somebody out there is watching us. The junkies of A Scanner Darkly were not just being paranoid.
After pinning locations on Google Earth, I decided to take a quick walk. I stared at the night sky and tried to look for the camera among the stars. The world is so big. How did it become so small? Yes, somebody out there is watching us and He knows the answers to all our questions and He's not battery operated either.
But the answer did not come tonight so I decided to go back inside the office. Just when I was about to get in, the PCGuy from next door called me and asked if I had been downloading stuff from the internet because it was slowing their connection. I stared blankly and said "no". I thought to myself, Oh boy, looks like my LimeWire days are over. He smiled and said "Oh ok. Just as long as you're sure." and jokingly added "I'm watching you." I smiled, went inside and resumed my download for Saw 3. Watch me. OUT.

2 responses:

Anonymous 11 February, 2007  

Damn, you're lucky to've already seen A Scanner Darkly. I've been trying to get my hands on that film for the longest time now!

Kala (

Jap 11 February, 2007  

Ok kala, don't watch it until you come to Doha ok? Now I know there's at least one thing I can offer you in return! hehehe Scanner Darkly is waiting for you dear =) yipee! I hope you want to watch One Point O too and Half Nelson =)

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