Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Here’s the history of showing text messages on film

Sometimes, it takes Hollywood a while to find an engaging way to depict emerging technologies. For example, the ‘90s are littered with strained attempts to make the act of surfing the Internet—an act that involves a lot of sitting and staring and not moving—look interesting enough to compete with action blockbusters of the day. Over the last several years, many filmmakers have tried to do the same for text messages, with mixed results. For the latest video in his Every Frame A Painting series, Tony Zhou takes a look at those attempts.


Zhou—who also dedicated videos to the comedic prowess of Edgar Wright and the chaotic visual style of Michael Bay—traces the history of filmed text messages from early experiments with shoving phones into the foreground of shots, to the current trend of having text float in the air next to phones, as seen on shows like Sherlock and House Of Cards. Like Zhou‘s other videos, A Brief Look At Texting And The Internet In Film is well-researched and crisply edited, although it may be useless in a few years after text messaging is replaced with some kind direct brain-to-brain networking system, presenting Hollywood with a whole new problem.

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