Why We All Go to the World’s Fair may be one of the best movies about internet culture

This article contains spoilers for all of us at the World’s Fair


Since the beginning of the internet, movies have tried, and mostly failed, to capture the experience of being online. Two cheesy early attempts from 1995, hackers And the the network-Set a low bar to handle the subject intelligently on the big screen. However, it was very difficult to significantly improve the work. 2018 seek It might be the most successful example, but its web link is more of an aesthetic gimmick than a core aspect of its story or themes. 2018 also gave us Cam And the eight degrees, both of which deal with the Internet as part of their larger scope but do not focus on the subject matter throughout their runtime. However, as the generation that grew up on the Internet began to make films, projects that explored the messy medium and expanded began to appear.

Today’s movie

One of these recent films, We all go to the World’s Fairmay be the best representation of what Live with and online Resembles. Writer-director Jane Schoenbrunn’s brilliant first feature is a harrowing slow burn that succeeds where so many others fail. Often referred to as the “creepypasta movie”, We all go to the World’s Fair is a unique insight that shows the complexity of the Internet in its entirety, presenting both the huge positives and negatives that it has become an unavoidable part of our lives. Let’s take a look at how it evokes the same sensations as surfing the web.


The joy of discovery and the fear of the unknown

We all go to the World's Fair
The virtuous city

The Internet is a place of endless discovery. A lifetime can be devoted to exploring it all, and you won’t even begin to scratch the surface. This is awesome and terrifying at the same time. Sometimes you’ll come across something incredible, and other times, you’ll find the most awful content imaginable. What is unique around the internetUnlike other methods of communication, these highs and lows are often right next to each other.

Related: Hulu’s online horror: What sets it apart?

These uncomfortable juxtapositions show up brilliantly in We all go to the World’s Fair Through the videos, the main character Casey, played by Anna Cobb, watches. In one particularly startling scene, he puts Casey in a comfortable and reassuring pose ASMR video to help her sleep. However, when this cute video ends, a loading screen appears which leads to a disturbing video directed at Casey. Throughout the movie, the aforementioned loading screen becomes a symbol of anticipatory dread that turns into joy or horror, depending on which video is playing. The source of Casey’s suffering and his cure is the same.

Communication: for better or for worse

Casey documents her experience with YouTube in Our All at World's Fair.
The virtuous city

The Internet allows young people unprecedented access to communities they might not find otherwise. This means that lonely children and teens can discover a sense of belonging that eludes them in real life, but they are also vulnerable to the possibility of Dangerous people. This dynamic is mostly explored through Casey’s relationship with the adult male, JLB, played by Michael J. Rogers.

Related: Make it clear that we all go to the World’s Fair

The relationship is complex, with a troubling age gap and power dynamic. What JLB really wants is never clear, and while he seems genuinely concerned about Casey’s deteriorating mental state, there’s always the concern that he has nefarious motives.

In conversation with Jane Schoenbrunn life on filmInterviewer, Sailor Dinoshi RadleyAnd the He states, “Casey and JLB’s relationship is really complicated, and she is being reminded of that [her] From [her] Special experiences trying to find online community. Schoenbrunn responds to this by saying:

“[a]A non-binary filmmaker who doesn’t really enjoy binary constructs “that’s either a good thing or a bad thing” When I look at the kinds of work I want to do, one of the main things I’ve tried to do is complicate and humanize a relationship that most people find really dark. And I’m inclined to agree that it’s a really dark affair, for a lot of reasons, but the movie explicitly challenges your view of the “stranger menace on the internet” and a creepy fetishist with a big beard and a big plan to lure you in with something. “

Schoenbrunn refuses to give us easy answers about the nature of Casey and JLB’s relationship, instead using them to highlight the potential companionship and pitfalls the internet can provide, often at the same time.

What determines We all go to the World’s Fair Apart from other feature films about our experiences on the Internet, none of them could exist without the Internet. Everything about it, thematic, audio and visual, is steeped in internet culture and clearly online. Horror and creepypasta communities. The movie really depicts how scary and extraordinary surfing the web can be at the same time in a strikingly sad way.

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