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Opinion

Home Inspo

You can never be too ready when setting up yourself for the future. It hasn’t been until recently where I’ve really begun to take interest in my future home – you know you’re getting old when all your friends around you are getting married, moving out, and would rather shop in the homeware section over the clothing aisles. I guess that’s just it, being able to experience “the next chapter” vicariously through my friends has given me some good insight as to how seriously I have to save up in order to be able to gratify my expensive taste. I’ve also become aware of how difficult it is to envisage the kind of aesthetic you want your future space to be…it’s easy finding bits and bobs that you love, but putting it all together is a whole other learning curve of its own.

My style and taste is constantly evolving. Looking into the future now will give me time to discover what it is I like, what is practical, and what is long lasting. I always thought I would go the “minimalistic” route. But the minimalistic home isn’t, like all “minimalistic” trends, very minimal at all. Minimalism is a concept or lifestyle that demands simplicity, removing anything that is not a necessity and promoting things that are only vital. In the context of fashion, this suggests that things are low maintenance and essential. In reality, this has become nothing more than an aesthetic. It’s a trend which takes more effort to maintain and a lot more money to obtain. Take, for example, that white couch, that marble table, and those overpriced white dishes with gold brimming. Personally, I feel like the “minimalist” aesthetic has become too cliched, banal, and unimaginative.

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In Opinion

Rant

In The Australian newspaper, Natasha Bita reports John Vallance’s view on technology in classrooms as a “scandalous waste”, a distraction, and does little “except enrich Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard and Apple” (thank-you Steph for sharing this article). His school prohibits students to bring their laptops to school to encourage uninhibited group discussions in the classroom, a move which is underpinned by the belief that “teaching is fundamentally social activity”.

Yes, school is a place where brains and brawn are developed – in fact I can’t agree any more strongly that talk and discussion is vital to the growth of learners. And yes, it’s true, students can’t write legibly, they play on their computers alone during recess, and their attention spans are virtually non existent. So I do agree that it is alarming that the Australian Curriculum is migrating its NAPLAN tests to the computer.

However, as much as I agree with this article, I think I hold some bias (as many others do) coming from a cohort who graduated just one year ahead of those students introduced to their own independent laptops for use in and outside of class. And I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that students have a lesser attention span, can’t spell, and write slower.

While I admire the passion and value Vallance has for teachers; “If I had a choice between filling a classroom with laptops or hiring another teacher, I’d take the other teacher every day of the week’’, the claim that teachers use technology to create the “illusion of having prepared a lesson” is a strong assumption. Personally, I think there is a growing emphasis on teachers facilitating learning and equipping them with the skills to use the tools around them more effectively. So, just because a teacher asks students to complete some research on the computer for a lesson or two does not mean they are “slacking off”. Might I add how important it is for students to be able to research and differentiate between reliable and unreliable information (the common-sense list goes on…). Our schools place so much significance on building independent long life learners – and well, computers and technology is a huge part of it.

Regardless, it probably isn’t all that constructive to criticise the use of technology in the classroom. We all know that technology is prevalent in all parts of society and the engagement (or disengagement) it does in fact bring is inevitable. And we certainly know that technology is here and here to stay.

Perhaps the kind of conversation we should be having is how to educate teachers to use technology in the classroom in meaningful ways that enhance learning, encourage innovation and creativity, so that we can eliminate one edge of the sword.

Value yourself too.

Recording a few more thoughts around the same ideas. I am human, negative feelings and experiences of inadequacy return all the time. Writing on this blog reminds me of just this – that we are filled with contradictions and paradoxes, and while it isn’t always a good excuse, it is part of the human condition. 
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I can’t say that I don’t chase for public affirmation through the amount of followers and likes I receive. It’s so hard to shake the deluded perception that the amount of people you have following your social media page equivocates to your value. It’s not so much about popularity, it’s about seeking recognition for the work that we do and the ideas that we create. As more and more time passes, and the more I re-experience the feelings of being unrecognised and unacknowledged – the more I realise how much more complex and difficult it is to suspend the desires for social-media gratification.

You must think – gosh she’s 24 and she’s still concerned with juvenile and superficial things such as these – does she not have better things to worry about?

Being one of the many young people who heavily indulge in the use of the internet, involved in it as a ‘blogger’, and someone who sees the internet as a platform for sharing ideas – it is almost inevitable to be concerned with these ‘superficial’ matters. The fact that social media is so heavily embedded in our everyday lives – the fact that we are teaching our children how to navigate and use the internet to our advantage; goes to show that the internet is (in its own right) a new language for our century.

So something that at first seems superficial, is perhaps not so superficial after all. This is important. We need to concede that ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ is a reality that needs to be addressed. We need to remind ourselves that these signs and signals are artificial constructs and do not determine or measure our worth.

And I must remember that I have more to offer than what number appears on my screen.

Don’t be that person on Vday.

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Valentines Day isn’t for everyone. And I’m sure that I posted a blog once upon a time, admonishing the idea of the annual celebration, and that the day should instead be about the love for one’s self or that everyday should be a day of love and appreciation. But instead of hating on people who post gaudy images of gifts and stuffed toys among a bouquet of overpriced short lived red roses, let’s all as cynics find a way to embrace the positives that can come from this special day – whether or not you’re hitched.

The day does not have to exclusively be about or for couples, which has been made abundantly clear by individuals particularly fond of promoting self-love. It’s a day that should, and I believe is increasingly becoming about universal love between friends, family, pets, the community, and even for the place or country you live in.

It’s so easy to: get caught up with your own life and problems, forget that others around you are probably enduring the same daily grind, take for granted or miss the small thoughtful gestures people might do for you. You may not see or understand the hype and excitement around Valentines Day, but the ruckus it causes could serve as a useful reminder to think about someone else other than yourself for a change, and may even prompt you to show your appreciation for the person who has shown you they care all the other times you were too busy dealing with problems life brings.

And what’s so bad about having a day that might reignite the flames of a relationship that has forgotten about romance? Although, of course, it should not take a particular day to motivate this kind of action, it might just be the saving grace for a relationship in dire need of some tlc.

So yes, Valentines Day is to some extent quite superficial – but it doesn’t have to be. It need not be adorned with sparkly what-nots or a hefty price tag or rose petals on top of bed sheets or bath tubs. Much like anything else in life, you’re in charge of making any day and every day a meaningful and worthwhile Valentines.

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We celebrated our 10th year together (as well as Valentines Day) over the weekend in Geelong where Ken is currently studying.

In Opinion

Do it for yourself.

Quite shamefully, I spend a significant chunk of my time watching vlogs on youtube. Often, these bloggers respond to their fan questions, with many asking them how they could start a blog or a youtube channel. Most of these bloggers say that you can’t start a blog/yt channel with the intention of getting famous. I always scoffed at the answer, because being the skeptical, cynical and pessimistic person that I am, I believed they were just saying what everybody wanted to hear. Like many “bloggers” out there they attempt to elude people from seeing how disingenuous the internet world can really be; it’s only too easy to place on a facade under the cloak of “fame”, and when a few hundred thousand followers can offer security from being exposed (I talk about purchasing followers here).

But after hearing the same righteous response again from yet another blogger, I began to believe this statement. Perhaps it was her conviction, but also perhaps this was the first time I properly reflected on why I blog and where my motivations come from.
I like to create things. I like to create them on my own. I like to have creative control over the things I make. I like having the ability to turn things that start off as just visions, into a reality. It’s a much more meaningful kind of satisfaction when I produce and design creations that seem like unattainable ideas concocted in my head or that money (or lack of it) simply cannot buy.

Creating content is my way of expressing my ideas visually. It’s the process I enjoy; and “posting” or “publishing” it for the world only supplies short lived gratification. Despite knowing that only one or two people actually pay any attention to the content I create, I do it regardless – why? Because more than anything, I do it for myself.

 

See the first vlog I am actually proud of, hopefully I’ll be able to get some more up sooner than later. Vlogs take ages to make, I have so much footage I have to cull through.

Facetwitt | Reblog Series #9

 

After reading through my old blog posts deciding which I should re-post, I didn’t realise exactly how most of my blog consisted of angry content. Reading back, I sound irrationally pissed off at things that I am probably guilty of myself – hence the repetitive “this is probably hypocritcal” slotted in almost every blog post. But for entertainment and memory’s sake – here’s another posted back in 2011. Read more

In Opinion

Flower Frown | Reblog Series #8

There’s something I really dislike about the ‘flower crown’ trend. Just something about it that really is just a little too over-the-top (while I understand that of course everybody has their own definition of what ‘over-the-top’ is). It just looks awkward on the head and if it’s one thing I can’t possibly understand is how people are willing to pay up to $80 for a botanical garden to be worn on their head, so large it looks like it could nest a whole colony of bees. Not entirely sure why one would like to walk around looking like a walking vase for any occasion other than halloween either. People seem to think that just because it’s Spring (and Spring typically calls a warrant for florals everywhere and anywhere possible), that an uncouth amount of artificial (or worse) semi-artifical (whatever that is) propped on the head means they’re suddenly in the privy of the latest Spring trend! (whatayouknow more flowers!) …Irritating.

Having said all that, just cos it’s not for me, doesn’t mean it’s not for you.

Happy Spring.

I actually like the photo featured above, but for what it’s worth, it should remain only in photoshoots.

In Opinion

THIS IS WATER | Reblog Series #5

In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we’ve ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education.
We made this video, built around an abridged version of the original audio recording, with the hopes that the core message of the speech could reach a wider audience who might not have otherwise been interested. However, we encourage everyone to seek out the full speech (because, in this case, the book is definitely better than the movie).
-The Glossary

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In Opinion

Good Old Neon | Reblog Series #3

Thought I might share some thoughts on this, it’s been a while since I’ve been inspired by a story – I think what’s written below can only be understood if you’ve read it before (it was meant for class, but thought this blog was due for a new post of some sort)…

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I found “Good Old Neon” to be particularly grabbing as it delves straight into the mind of the character. Although fiction, the monologue is presented very personally, reminiscent of a private diary or journal. Not only do we instantly become interested in this character’s story through his voice and the way in which he includes readers by referring to them as “you”, we also find that as readers we are drawn into this kind of intimacy. This attraction may be because we are so intrigued with honesty, we believe that the character’s thoughts are true – thoughts that have no space or time and yet somehow we are granted access to it.

Personally, I found the character’s struggle to escape the trap of his own fraudulence an interesting theme, since this seems to be an account of self-consciousness that we could more or less relate to (probably not this extreme though). Written in a style similar to that of stream-of-consciousness writing, as a reader I found myself become increasingly agitated with the constant overlapping and repetitiveness each time Neal realises or recounts the times he has undone genuine events with his self manipulative behaviour. For readers’ feelings to parallel with the frustration the character might have felt, may or may not have been the author’s intention.

In an interview David Wallace said, “I just think that fiction that isn’t exploring what it means to be human today isn’t good art” (18 September 2008) could assist readers in deciding what the whole point of this story is – perhaps it is to show how hopelessly inevitable it is for human behaviour to be paradoxical or contradicting.

Good Old Neon’s conclusion of the story, to me, was rather dissatisfying. Perhaps I was just naively expecting more closure. I hoped that it might have been found somewhere in between his writing of the letter to his sister and his skepticism that the act itself was also fraud – maybe even a “cheesy” character revelation of some sort that solves all of Neal’s “fraudulence paradox”. But in our futile search for reasons why the character did not go through with the suicide (because if he did, how could he have written his story), we eventually discover that the entire monologue were imaginary reflections constructed by “David Wallace” based on a picture of a classmate in his highschool year book.

 

(sources used: http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article09180801.aspx)

In Opinion

Special Possessions | Reblog Series #2

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You always see in movies a character who owns this one piece of jewellery that has sentimental value. You also notice that it’s the only piece of jewellery they are wearing on their body.

I always find it touching to watch and listen to the story behind these special objects, and I realised that there’s not much of that these days anymore. Yes there’s always that special gift from a loved one, but given how fortunate many of us are now, these gifts are easily overshadowed by other material possessions. In a contemporary world where the young are perhaps more concerned than they should be about style, fashion, and the latest must-have – that special something finds it difficult to find itself a permanent place on an individual’s body. It is constantly switched up and replaced with more special items, and its value seems to drop with every additional item one comes to possess.

It’s just a thought. Of course we can cherish many things at one time. It’s what makes us human. We could be mistaking our big hearts for greed (but which also makes us humans). We have a heart which constantly desires; its pace increases with the increasingly fast-paced world full of temptation. This is how it is. We possess more, and grow more possessive. No amount of possessions is enough, so I guess it’s only natural for  that special object to struggle to hold the most value at all times…

In Opinion

Texting étiquette | Reblog Series #1

There are many posts I wrote in my old blog on my opinions about everything and anything. These days, I have found very little motivation, or have had little desire to express any of my thoughts. As a result, I have been writing less. In an attempt to reignite critical thinking, I have decided to re-post my old posts to this blog as part of an “Opinion” segment to truly capture what the essence of this blog is about (more than pretty pictures, but hopefully also containing some thought-provoking content). Read more

Blogger’s Block

Fashion Bloggers TV Season 2 has started following the lives of aussie icons; Sara from Harper&Harley, Zanita from Zanita.com, Nadia from Fairfax Journal and Amanda from Oraclefox – no mention of where Margaret Zhang from last season went though.

Despite what you might think, this post isn’t going to be about how much I envy their lifestyle, I do think that one of the reasons for this show is to show just how unglamorous the ‘glamorous’ life can be. Call me sensitive, but when watching it I feel some sense of anxiety creeping on – it definitely looks stressful!

Running Comments S2E01/S2E02

I raised an eyebrow when Zanita was trying to describe why she liked street style photography so much. As if they’re in a “jungle” and are “bird watchers”. I’m not sure how well describing females as ‘birds’ to be ‘hunted’ in a ‘jungle’ sits well with 21st century women…(lol)….I can poke fun at this show as much as I want – but I think writer Chantelle Schmidt does it well. Other than mocking them, I appreciate that they appreciate how lucky they are.

My take

More than anything, I think this show has made me realise even more how much I like curating things over modelling things. Being able to create and design images and products is one of the most satisfying things for me. Having others support or recognise you for it is just a bonus.

In Opinion

Back – With things to say.

I’m finally done with the semester, which means I have a bit of time to myself to get creative again, which includes, getting in touch with this blog again. I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts about my trepidations with making a ‘public blog’ and how it may effect my ‘professional image’. I recently came by a very stylish lady who is both a teacher and a blogger in Australia, and goes by the handle “whattheteacherwears”. I felt absolutely inspired and frankly, wish I came up with her idea! Does this mean students don’t stalk your every move? Does this mean they still might have respect for you? How would you keep such a public profile away from your students? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

So here’s to my never-ending attempt to keep this blog alive. To do this, I believe I need to make it a little more personal with regards to content. I guess it isn’t my ‘style’ to run a blog that is theme-based/ ie. fashion/reviews. I realise now that what really gets me going is my ability to rant. Yet, often it isn’t purely rant either. I enjoy a hybrid of things, outfits, opinions, food, lifestyle…it’s too difficult for me to separate them into neat posts like many other successful bloggers do so well!

Okay. Moving on…

So it’s been over a year since I started my online jewellery store. I am proud of it, and glad that I haven’t given it up. It’s a great creative outlet and also a rewarding one. However, things did not always run smoothly.

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We always hear the lines thrown around like – ‘true women celebrate other women’s successes’ etc. Whilst I am not against the sentiment of such phrases, hm, how do I put this so I don’t sound anti-feministic…it absolutely shits me that statements such as these have to sound so obstinately arrogant; as though to say that if you don’t support another female’s success, you are immediately a scathing bitch and should be shunned by the rest of society. First of all, what about women and men celebrating each other’s successes? And second of all, just because you’re a woman you’re meant to hug and be friends with everyone? Someone please re-play Emma Watson’s speech again.

This leads me to the undeniable big fat annoying elephant on this page. What am I complaining about exactly? If you know me, you know I like to speak in obscure and vague prose. But I don’t think I will here merely because I think this is an issue many ‘bloggers’, creatives, online users in general have experienced.

Here are the workings of my inner dialogue…

Is it just me – or has this person suspiciously gained a significant number of followers/subscribers each day? And why has the speed of its increase suddenly stalled? Why am I so obsessed with this? Just because they have many followers doesn’t mean that they are engaged. Should I buy followers to at least get my foot in the door? Is this ethically correct? Then again, who bloody cares? Apparently I do.

After many months of frustrations between noticing (whether it’s true or not) other people (I won’t name any names) gaining ‘inspiration’ from my collection, then turning around and saying others have ‘copied’ them without realising they have done the exact same thing themselves……..I have found peace in my own work, and continually try to remind myself why I started this business in the first place.

Admittedly, I have been tempted to purchase followers for exposure. But I ultimately do not feel comfortable doing this. It isn’t honest. I want to earn the things I work for, and sometimes what I get in return doesn’t appear in big numbers. I want people to appreciate the work, express and comment their thoughts not because I have a huge following, not for exposure, but because they genuinely like it. So many sentences starting with “I want”, and it all sounds very vain. But ultimately, being successful should not be about how many likes, comments, or followers you receive despite what social media and the internet has taught and told us. This blog post is here to remind me each time I doubt myself, and to tell you that just because I’m a female doesn’t mean that I have to support people who are not genuine.

In Opinion

fantastically bold or downright weird

I recently bought these Karen Walker sunnies off MyNetSale (pictured below). I haven’t posted any full photos yet because truthfully I don’t quite have the gall to show you all how crazy I am. I’m not exactly sure what spurred me onto these – it being aesthetically wonderful as an object alone, or its price tag. Most likely the latter – damn you discounts! You are all probably curling your eyebrows and wondering – what the F*cK was she thinking? – and I fear that in the not too distant future I will be thinking the same…

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(thumbnail images are not my own, as found on google images)

These babies were a steal though – retailing at $400 in stores, but getting it for $95 (including postage) on the 2 day sale online.  So I did a YOLO. Hopefully the same mentality applies when comes Spring/Summer when it’s no longer alright admiring them from (off) my face.

Also tried to convince myself that I would look like the following two people if I owned these sunglasses…(there’s is in the other gold/clear colour)… in my dreams?

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I’m pretty sure these sunglasses are not made to flatter faces, rather simply a statement maker. Karen Walker sunglasses are interesting (to say the least), the silver/metallic detail is tastefully presented with cutouts of intertwining Walker signature motifs. As for styling ideas? I think this would be best paired with a monochromatic outfit – black to stay ‘chic’. A more daring look could feature these with other patterns and bold colours to really take the style to a whole new level of cray (I might pass on this combo though). But for now, a pair of good denim jeans and a plain T might just do the trick.

For better or for worse, I will hopefully brave this piece of art out onto the streets of Melbourne and try to embrace as many odd stares coming in my direction……. or make a home for it pulled back onto my head. We’ll just have to see.

 update |

Lo and behold… I returned them…

In Opinion

What I’m watching:

Among all the other crap I’m watching, one of latest series I’ve watched is The 100.

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I was very sceptical at first – thought it would have been a poorer version of the Hunger Games, because how on earth (no pun intended?) can a dystopian/post apocolyptic story be dragged out into a series? I was pretty sure that the plot would stall, with just death/teenage-romance/running around in circles to fill the gaps. I love this genre but couldn’t see how it could be unique from all the other futuristic films I’ve seen. But, I was very happily proven wrong. This series was something like the Hunger Games meets The Walking Dead (even though I’ve never seen it, forgive me if I’m utterly wrong about this). I’m not one for guts and gore, for all I know you all might be thinking “what the hell is she talking about?” because this is benign in comparison to other things you might have watched. But for someone like me who often watches brainless reality TV and sappy teenage dramas, The 100 is quite a stretch.
The show was not shy with the torture or violence, and I guess a big part of this made it less ‘teenage’ and more ‘adult’. The plot develops very quickly which means each episode was filled with drama; all without sacrificing character growth. I also appreciated the fact that we did not fall into a Peeta vs Gale or Edward vs Jacob bind (which I thought I saw coming). Like any other survival story, you would expect that it explores ethics, morality, power, authority, justice (to name a few). It was interesting to see the way the story balanced the power distribution between both males and females – they were all equally in command, and the “healers” were not typically women. What the show did well was being able to continually create suspense during and at the end of each episode. The cast was also very easy to look at – which is always a plus.
I think I completed this season within a week, which is a very short time for because I usually like to spare my TV shows and take my time watching them. This goes to show how impressive I think it is! I’m looking forward to reading the next book or watching the next season (whichever comes first – I can’t wait!).

In Opinion

“I just try to live every day…as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

About Time is by far the best romantic movie I’ve watched – and I say this as someone who has always been indifferent towards great romantic stories like the Titanic or The Notebook. Sweet, light-hearted, serious, funny, all at the same time – and I guess a romantic movie isn’t complete without one finding themselves balling in tears. All these emotions are provoked for atypical reasons unlike the usual romantic film, which is only one of the reasons why this film appealed to me so much! Although I’m sure there were plenty, the clichés go unnoticed. There was love and death, but not the Juliet & Romeo kind. There was time-travel, but not the Time Traveler’s Wife kind (albeit that was also a great movie). About Time explored much more than love between lovers, it was also explored love between family and friends through the concept of time-travel and fate. At first the movie might come across as quite artificial – where only the men in the family happen to possess the gift of time-travel. But if we can see beyond this, the film’s values become more apparent. The protagonist learns that although time-travel can be useful in changing major events in life, sometimes a compromise must be made. Instead he used time-travel to teach himself how to live every day like he would if he had time-traveled back to make improvements.

The film made fresh, what today has made trite – live every day like it’s your last / live in the moment / we only live once.

We’re all travelling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.

In Opinion

“She’s not just a computer” – Theodore

featured image courtesy of Thy Tran

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I am no film critic nor expert, but I just wanted to dedicate this blog post to Spike Jonze’s “Her”, and express how beautifully poignant I think this piece of work is.

I’m not sure if I can pin point exactly why I loved it so much, but I’ll give it a go.

First of all (hush) I did not watch it at the cinemas, and I regret that I didn’t. I was just worried that it’ll be one of those wanky art films that leave me in an unpleasant mood when walking out of the theatre. I have nothing against wanky art films (how can I be if I’m an art student, right?) I just prefer leaving them for home where I can watch it by myself in the comfort of my own room – so I can dwell, ponder, and be depressed all I want. Personally,  I look for action/comedic films to watch on the big screen. Anyways, I digress.

What draws me most about this film, is its concept; set in the future, where technology has been integrated into our everyday lives more than ever before. Filmed very effectively, not for one second do we feel a void when Samantha is present. Just because she is not a fully physically formed body, she is fully present in her embodiment as a real, conscious, unique and thinking voice. She is alive in Theodore’s face, and that can only be credited to Joaquin Phoenix himself. The movie really delves and deals with the sticky questions about love, life and relationships – how do you share your life with somebody? It comes to no surprise that we’re increasingly sharing our lives with people through our hand held devices; Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp. We sit at the restaurant dinner table with our phones in the palm of our hands, we are eating and sleeping with our devices. Dating websites are becoming more evidently successful, we fall in love with fashion and material possession through a screen device. What’s emitted through the device might as well be real and conscious, just like Samantha is realised in this film.

And so even if this film might strike as farfetched to some, even if, you’re scoffing and thinking “nobody’s that antisocial”. Think again, think again when you next go to a social event with friends and see that half of them are wired to their phones. Are we really that far off?

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