Variety

Weekend Watch: As the Internet turns 50, a list of five shows to celebrate the milestone

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on November 01, 2019 Published on November 01, 2019

Hello there!

If you are reading this online, this is a special week for you. The internet was born 50 years ago this week in the US. Today, the Web has become part and parcel of our life. We sell, shop and share on the web. The Internet actually made us “modern”, even though the concept of modernity had been around since the 1600s. On that cue, we’ve picked five superb cinematic experiences for you to ‘bingenjoy’ this weekend. These films talk about the web, and the people and societies it has spun over these years. Statutory warning: Get ready to be jolted out of your boredom and brace yourself up for some solid fun, philosophy and catharsis.

Lo and Behold, Netflix, 1hr 38 min

Inarguably, this is one of the best documentaries ever to have been made on the internet. Directed by the legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog -- winner of the world’s most famous film awards, including the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2009, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, logs into the history of one of the most disruptive forces humanity has ever seen and tracks its beginnings, evolution and how it has been changing the way we live, work and communicate, all in 10 neat chapters. This 2016 documentary is an unputdownable cinematic experience, and the key question Herzog poses -- "Can the Internet dream of itself?" -- will stay with you for longer than you think.

 

Prediction by the Numbers, Netflix, 52 mins

Internet propelled the data revolution. Today, data analysis powers almost every walk of commerce. Data-based predictions rule our daily lives. From sports to cinema and healthcare to weather forecasting, digital technology and Big Data-based predictive tools call the shots and the science of forecasting is big business now. This brilliant documentary takes a deep dive into this super interesting world and unravels a series of compelling stories that will leave you with an ‘edge of the seat’ experience. The documentary is directed by photojournalist Daniel McCabe, whose work This is Congo, had bravely exposed the hapless lives of millions caught in the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

The Great Hack, Netflix, 1hr 54 min

Have you watched David Fincher’s The Social Network? This is the documentary equivalent of the film about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. No, this isn’t his biography; instead it talks about one of the most embarrassing episodes in the history of the social network that’s ruling the world now. Yes, we’re talking about the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal that royally rocked FB’s credibility early last year. Produced and directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Ame, the documentary features interviews with those who were involved in the clandestine exercise, where a consultancy company used Facebook to illegally harvest private information of millions of people and exploited it for political advertising. It’s a nail-biting narrative. Worth every byte.

 

Dark Net, Netflix, Seasons 1&2

Created by Mati Kochavi, the series looks at the dark web and technology. It is constructed like a fictional techno-potboiler. There is suspense, intrigue, crime, chase and everything you want to see in a series of this kind. There are biohackers, cyber-kidnappers, online cults, porn makers, webcam strippers, and more. Not a dull moment, I can vouch. Each season has eight episodes each. The first season came out in 2016 and the second in 2017. If you are a fan of Charlie Brooker’s techno-dystopian epic Black Mirror (three seasons of which are available on Netflix), you will surely enjoy Dark Net, which a Redditer recently called reality's version of Black Mirror.

 

Modern Love, Amazon Prime, Eight episodes

Familiar with the Oscar Wilde quote, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”? Modern Love is all about those ‘some’. Trust me; this is one of the best products to have come out of Amazon Prime in a long while. There are eight real stories, all inspired by the personal essay column, Modern Love, from New York Times, and there are dozens of great characters who tell their stories about love, friendship, marriage, dating, family, and a lot more. Each episode explores the subtle yet complex art of human bonding and the many crises, joys and confusions of it. Starring an ensemble cast that include Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey and Dev Patel, Modern Love has all the ingredients to become one of the best produced and most creative series of 2019. Watch and fall in love -- again and again.

 

Happy Weekend!

Published on November 01, 2019
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