Like many of the animated shorts premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, GNT’s meant to hit home with its short and filthy story about the perils of being a person living in the age of ad-ridden social media.
Blessedly, Aussie duo Sara Hirner and Rosemary Vasquez-Brown’s film steers clear of making any sort of glib commentary about the covid-19 pandemic, and instead fixes its focus a bit farther into the past—to a seemingly simpler time when one of the more popular topics of conversation were people’s hygiene habits, or lack thereof. When you’re introduced to GNT’s protagonist, Glen, the voices calling out from the social media ether are all manic or fixated with the latest disgusting idea that’s been spun into a profitable trend.
Much as Glen may not want to give into the magnetic pull of the trend’s popularity, she can’t ignore the way it shapes how people comport themselves online and what sort of decisions they make out of a desire to be part of the trend. Beneath its surface layer jokes about people telling on themselves and their nasty habits, GNT ends up landing more than a few solid punches within its five-minute runtime that draw attention to how, in our collective pursuit to understand and be a part of digital spaces, we all inadvertently end up saying things better kept to ourselves.
By the time Hirner and Vasquez-Brown’s short fires off shots at a handful of related types of Twitter Characters of the Day, its message to anyone who’s ever been presented with the opportunity to just log off is clear: do it.
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