I’m going to let you in on a little secret—I’m scared of the internet. I’m scared of this review and the fact that it’s going to have my name on it. And I’m both doubly scared of the stuff that I have posted which is probably way too personal to be public. And also, and a little proud of said writing.
Much like Casey (Anna Cobb in her debut), the subject of Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, I too grew up into a gawky adolescence surrounded by the Internet. Everyone in my Junior High had a Facebook account; the contrarian narcissist that I am did a class presentation on why I didn’t have one. Casey is in that awkward stage between youth and adulthood dubbed adolescence. Her glow-in the dark stars posted all over her bedroom wall and the stuffed monkey she carries around with her scream the fact that she’s not quite adult. Her desire to take part in “The World’s Fair Challenge,” a creepy pasta inspired YouTube challenge, suggests a burning desire to become an adult.
Schoenbrun’s art is pointedly personal. As a trans filmmaker, they build upon the grand tradition of developing representations of dysphoria through body horror. But it’s also deeply elegiac for an internet that feels long gone. So much of the text is predicated upon the inherent loneliness that Casey, and an older man named LJB (Michael J. Rodgers), whom Casey begins Skyping due to their shared interest in the game, both feel. There’s an inherent melancholy to this, a feeling that suggests we’d all love to go to the World’s Fair. Even if we’re too scared to prick our fingers and wipe the blood on the screen.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Drama, Horror
- Release Date: 8/8/2021
- Directed by: Jane Schoenbrun
- Starring: Anna Cobb, Michael J Rogers
- Produced by: Abby Harri, Carlos Zozaya, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Hannah Dweck, Mila Matveeva, Sarah Winshall, Theodore Schaefer
- Written by: Jane Schoenbrun
- Studio: Dweck Productions, Flies Collective
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