milkboys Film & TV, Films & TV 9 Comments

Imagine you’ve hacked into someone else’s phone and are consuming all his texts, videos, Snapchats, and Instagrams in real time. Now imagine that someone is a 15-year-old boy, and you’re watching his life unfold entirely through the lens of an iPhone.  That’s the premise behind Pocket, a captivating new short film starring the former Nickelodeon actor Mace Coronel.

The film, which was shot vertically and is designed to be consumed on mobile, follows Jake as he navigates school, home, and social life. Parts of Jake’s days look familiar to anyone who has gone through puberty: the awkward social interactions with classmates, a history test, flirting, masturbation.

Throughout it all, Jake’s phone plays an outsize role and acts as the lens through which we see his world unfolding. Jake uses his phone during school to make memes and videos mocking one of his classmates and share them in a group chat. He cradles it between his legs when he attempts to cheat on an exam. He uses it to escape confrontations with his mother, to frequently watch porn, and to creep on models’ Instagram photos.

To Jake, the phone is an extension of his body. It’s with him 24/7—at one point, he even pauses a shower to check a text. After Instagram-stalking and befriending his crush, Farrah, Jake exchanges sexts with her via Snapchat. But when he sees Farrah in person and finally gets the opportunity to have a conversation with her unmediated by a screen, he can’t.

Comments 9

  1. A good topic for today and for youth as well. I don’t want someone around me who has to have on porn or be intoxicated, not my type of relating. I feel sad for those who can’t interact with a flesh and blood person. Sure a lot of people are assholes so you need to look around and figure out how to get life to work and learn to meditate and be happy with yourself. Socialization 101. Webcam the only way is kind of empty, shallow. I realize that it is safer maybe for youth, like training wheels, but should learn to deal with flesh and blood someday and a lot more fun exchanging bodily fluids directly.

  2. “The film, which was shot vertically and is designed to be consumed on mobile,”

    Oh, please, don’t let this way creep into any permanence. And why are people still calling digital videos “film”?

    The very last thing the visual arts need to do is change their ways just for these fucking phones. No, how about changing the phones to comply with the arts instead and stop giving us headaches and blurry eyes?

  3. Film is just a term, like torch for a portable light, floppy disk icon for save, old style phone handset on the icon for phone, trunk, glove compartment, etc.

    Art has always changed with changing times, usually adding new forms though the codex pretty much wiped out the scroll. We have stage and movie, 360º movie, video game. Mono sound, stereo, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, Atmos.

    David Byrne, in his book “How Music Works” talked about how music has changed to accommodate the predominate listening method – small room, cathedral, stage, auditorium, stadium, record, boom box, CD, mp3, iPod w/ EarPods, vinyl :).

    1. oops, as I go back to reading my magazine I realize it scrolls on my table, perhaps the scroll isn’t gone.

  4. Kudos to the director for casting someone age-appropriate for this role. The only person who can believably pass as a 15-year-old boy is a 15-year-old boy.

    Thanks to Josh for explaining the ending, because I would have completely missed the point without his help.

  5. I could barely get through half of this video it’s so bad. Perfect example of brain chaos that never learned anything through school. His statement that he’d rather be in elementary school [and not even get past the 4th grade] proves this.

    The ONLY thing that broke up the total chaos are the cute boys he accidentally got in his frame of his iPhone.

    Exactly like at least 85+% of commenters in all the media sites, they don’t pay attention to HOW & WHAT they write and of course, NEVER REVIEW what they write before it gets posted. Interesting on how all of them blame their own phones: “auto spell” bullshit but they still keep doing what they’ve always done. In the video world, it’s called EDITING [and knowing what to edit].

  6. Sigh*

    The life of a teenage boy has been like this since 2009 with the popularity of iPhone and iPod Touch with quite some improvement of phone performance. It’s in fragments and doesn’t quite have much depth. It’s time to rethink if the investment worth sending people to the moon wisely spent like this on consumer technology?

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