For more on the changing nature of the film world, read Conor O'Callaghan's column here.
Imagine learning you and your significant other have broken up because he hacked into your Facebook account and changed your relationship status. Sound too low to imagine? In the context of the short film “Noah,” it seems all too possible.
“Noah” is a 17-minute film that debuted last week at the Toronto International Film Festival. Taking place entirely on screens, primarily a computer screen, the film chronicles the break up between protagonist Noah Lennox and his girlfriend, Amy. There’s no big fight between the two. There are no tears or hints of a breakup in the making. Yet everything about it feels so organic, so realistic, so quintessentially Millennial.
It’s a fascinating film for how much of a non-event it really is. Think of the last breakup you or a friend had with a long-term lover: In the moment, it probably felt like fireworks. “Noah” is quiet about how this relationship falls apart, reflecting how silent life lived online can often be.
When Amy asks to have a serious talk with Noah, his instinct is to Skype, not meet in person. He absentmindedly peruses other tabs, including a porn streaming site, while they speak, nothing grabbing his attention for more than a few seconds. There’s no music other than the tracks Noah plays on his computer – the only score, so to speak, is made up of Noah’s clicks and keystrokes.
All this could come off as far too digital or mechanical, yet everything about it is gripping and real. It reminds me of a similarly Millennial-driven film, “Catfish,” in that the expectation is for something big to happen, but nothing ever does. The quiet, human, heartbreaking moments are so much harsher than any false histrionics could ever be. Even the ending, which would be an overplayed reveal in almost any other work, is nothing more than a fun tag in this film.
“Noah” is strikingly relevant to any young person, no matter their relationship status. I can’t stop thinking about it, and once you’ve given it a watch, chances are you’ll be left pondering, too.
Watch the full film below:
This is the opinion of Kevin O'Keeffe, a senior screenwriting major from Austin, Texas. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.