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Bottom 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

1999 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Documentary Competition

Non-Cast Credits

Doug Block, Jane Weiner, Esther Robinson, Doug Block, Deborah Rosenberg, Elephant Ears


Veteran documentary producer Doug Block, suffering from a case of midlife restlessness and armed with a video camera, sets out to explore society's fascination with the Internet. Through the process, Block is introduced to Justin Hall, creator of the webpage "Justin's Links from the Underground" (www.links.net), which receives seven thousand hits a day. Hall is infamous for his brutally honest diary pages, chronicling everything from his roommate problems to his sex life.

Block follows Hall on a cross-country tour to preach the glories of the Internet, mostly to kids in coffeehouses. They end up in San Francisco, where Block is introduced to the pioneers of the Internet. The filmmaker discovers through his interviews with the cutting-edge subculture that today computers have replaced television. Kids as young as five years old, as well as adults, spend hours each day in front of the computer surfing the web. Popular culture means nothing to them when they can attract their own fan clubs just by having the coolest website.

With Hall's help, the filmmaker develops a home page, "D-Word" (www.d-word.com), which includes his own personal diary pages. The positive feedback from these entries inspires Block to shift the focus of the film midstream to a more personal exploration of how the Internet affects his life. As a result; he examines his meaningful connections with his wife, daughter, and parents, Block ultimately finds thatthe Internet is an important way to connect sociely in the age of disappearing institutions, rituals, and communities.


Mary Kerr (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.