Review: @scroll_alice

Written and directed by Céline Ufenast, an experimental short about our love-hate relationship with Instagram and our photo-editing mania.

The success of any short film that’s coming in at under five minutes can be measured by how much of an impression it makes, and Céline Ufenast makes a strong impact with @scroll_alice. A huge part of that is how intensely relevant the subject is, social media infatuation and obsession is at an all time high and becomes more worrying as time goes on. Within these few minutes, Ufenast hits a lot of the crucial points from removing yourself from reality, to body image issues and unrealistic expectations.

It’s an impressively succinct exploration of the issues. It hits the nail on the head of how addictive social media has become and how people can entirely lose any idea of self-identity when they’re basing their personality and lifestyle on what they see from other people. In an attempt to create the, once hopeful but now dangerous, sentiment of a ‘best self’.

Choosing to explore it solely using animation that mixes a modern style with a dose of the early computer age aesthetic, was a fantastic choice. It works extremely well right from the beginning, it moves at a swift but easily digestible pace. There’s also good uses of repetition to highlight the growing tension. It has a satisfyingly growing intensity, it’s subtle but with the issue being so relatable and relevant, you can’t miss it. The way that the language evolves denotes so many modern psychological issues and rounds itself out bringing the classic self-denial of addiction.

@scroll_alice impressively boils down the dangers of social media on identity into just a few minutes. It sharply touches upon how it allows people to further remove themselves from reality, the warped belief of creating a ‘better self’ and how photoshop and editing can worsen body image issues, all showing the fragility of identity in a modern world. All of which is wrapped up in a neatly chaotic animated package which has a growing intensity and hits home perfectly.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯½ | 9/10

Reviewed as part of Women X Film Festival 2022

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