Short film 'Noah' will make you think twice about Facebook

This remarkable Canadian short probes how online experiences can undermine a relationship.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read
Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Would you watch a film that's set entirely on someone's computer screen? As in the person's Skype, Facebook, iPhone, and Chatroulette conversations?

It sounds unbearable, but "Noah" is a Canadian short film that quickly pulls you into the multitasked, uberdistracted insanity that is modern relationships.

Part of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, the 17-minute portrayal of teenager Noah Lennox's unraveling love life feels eerily familiar, as well as a sign of things to come. The video has garnered nearly 1 million views since it was posted to YouTube on September 9.

"Noah" is directed by Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg, Ryerson University film grads. It begins on Noah's iMac but quickly moves to his iPhone screen and other platforms as he chats with his girlfriend Amy.

Surrounded by online porn, gaming, and music, Noah's world feels like a cocaine trip. There are a million distractions and it's impossible to focus, even as his relationship is doomed.

"Noah" is an unflinching look at how digital technology can ignite human relationships, burning them up with a casual Facebook message or accelerating them into the banality of Chatroulette.

It's only on YouTube for another day, and you can find it here. Caution: it does contain brief nudity and adult scenes, so it might not be something to view at work (it also contains a line about an "Asian girl" that's potentially offensive).

As one character in the film says of Facebook, "I find it really weird and creepy."

This story may just inspire you to delete your account.