There is a very interesting story in the exhibition We all go to the World. It resonates deeply in a conversation about our current relationship with technology and social media, and the consequences of the lack of control this culture is associated with. However, this story is located very deeply in an already cryptic film that does not try to move at the same pace as other genre films.
Jane Schoenbrun has created a world that does not require lazy exploration. It is an organic and extreme reproduction of the effect that social networks can cause. And yes, I don’t think Schoenbrun wanted to make it easy for the spectators. Should we respect that? Absolutely. But we’re all going to the World Expo. It’s not a movie for everyone.
Of course, this is not bad. We are simply used to the fact that movies are an open window into familiar worlds, and if this does not happen, we can confuse an artistic decision with a lack of talent. In We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, things seem to be random, but they’re not. They are far from accidental. We are seeing how the life of a teenager is going… something’s broken. And it is not up to us to analyze what is on the other side of the struggle. We always like to talk about control in technological environments that may seem toxic to vulnerable segments of the population, but sometimes it’s too after.
In We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, Casey is a lonely teenager whose discomfort seems to fade away when she’s sitting at the computer. Just don’t do it, your Internet connection is not a cure for your shy behavior. Casey decides to participate in the viral “World’s Fair Challenge” and takes the first steps. It’s just a line of terrible behavior pointing to the results of one of the many challenges available online.
Casey agrees. She keeps coming in. She doesn’t even stop when a secret man decides to help her and explain the strange behavior that Casey has no control over. What she is looking for is a secret. One that is found in the deepest corners of the Internet.
The movie doesn’t seem to be going anywhere with its final plot in the third act. But Schoeburn moves away from a traditional narrative style and justifies the film when it has to come to an end. This is horror because it feels like this and because of a powerful and raw aesthetic that will make your skin crawl. But there is more than a first look. However, when we all go to the World Exhibition, she deliberately changes her approach. It’s a crucial step by a creative team convinced that this dramatic checkpoint is relevant in the film’s formula. It’s something I haven’t connected with. But I can understand the reason for such a decision.
Once again, we’re all going to the World’s Fair. It’s not a movie for everyone. Not because it seems experimental or something, but because the real story it tells is not as exploitative as other films depicting such situations. Schoeburn has created a unique film that cannot be compared with his colleagues, because there are none. He finds himself alone in a cultural landscape of mysteries, technology and existential chaos.