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  • LOMO – The Language Of Many Others


LOMO – The Language Of Many Others


Privileged 17-year-old Karl (Jonas Dassler) has a blog with quite a following, and when a brief dalliance with classmate Doro (Lucie Hollmann) turns sour, he vindictively posts a video of their sexual encounter online. His initially remorseless act of revenge soon sparks repercussions and a ripple effect that goes beyond what he could have fathomed.

This Berlin-set debut from German director Julia Langhof is a thoughtfully crafted and stylishly executed modern coming-of-age story, one which conjures up a foreboding atmosphere through some moodily-lit set pieces and a tightly-handled grasp on the subject matter. Langhof and her co-writer Thomas Gerhold aren’t interested in rolling their eyes at millennials or delivering a hectoring essay on the pitfalls of the social media; instead, they stick closely to the story at hand and orchestrate a cautionary tale about seeing life through the prism of virtual actions and the possible disconnect that can occur for the online generation when the boundaries between the digital world and reality are blurred. A weaker script would have erratically gone overboard with the concept of creating a warped version of life and its moral codes, and dialled things up to 11 in the final act; thankfully, LOMO starts as it means to go on and the overall film is more rewarding as a result.

Particularly noteworthy is the way Langhof inventively portrays the anonymous community of followers and their cacophonous input. She mirrors Karl’s disaffected willingness to let others control his actions by showing the online presence subtly encroach onto the screen, corrosively blending into the day-to-day environment, as opposed to the tried-and-tested ‘boxes on screen’ approach. It’s a simple but effective aesthetic – one that is matched sonically – which reinforces that this isn’t a film that aims to preach to the luddites, nor one that cynically criticises the newer generations. LOMO exposes our current reality and the scary fact that our private lives, mistakes and even acts of spite are often digital and increasingly public. The film engagingly posits that by embracing social media so zealously, we have simply created another forum, a digital playground for teens to play, lash out, and evolve. For better, and certainly for worse in some cases.

LOMO – The Language Of Many Others | Directed by Julia Langhof (Germany, 2017), with Jonas Dassler, Lucie Hollmann. Starts July 12.

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