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We Live in Public [DVD] 
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We Live in Public is the story of the Internets revolutionary impact on human interaction as told through the eyes of Internet pioneer and visionary, Josh Harris. Though once considered the godfather of the downtown Internet scene in NYC in the 90s, known far and wide for his outrageous parties, innovations in chat, streaming audio and the creation of the first online television network, Harris is but a footnote in history at this point all because he took his experiments with the Internet and media consumption too far. Award-winning filmmaker, Ondi Timoner, has been documenting his incredible experiments, and his ups and downs, for over a decade from puppeteer to puppet, from millionaire to exiled and broke.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is really a must see for anyone interested in the history of business on the Internet or anyone interested in the lives of famous entrepreneurs. The documentary is well edited and enjoyable to sit through, it gives you an insight into what was a very remarkable time in history.
I would have given it five stars, however the way this is being promoted as having links with modern day social networking is tentative at best. It is really a voyeuristic view into a car crash consisting of a highly introverted personality, artistic aspirations, aggressive business and huge amounts of wealth - for that is very entertaining.
He made alot of the first websites that started basicly everything that is the internet
If you care to know how the internet started and what not buy this DVD and check it out.
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At the center of Timoner's film, which is more or less a biography on the life and times of an idiosyncratic entrepreneur (Harris), are two bold experiments examining what the increasing role of technology in our lives does to our privacy and our personal lives. In the first, a bizarre projected dubbed "Quiet," Harris spends upwards of $2 million to house 100 people in an underground bunker in New York City for the last 30 days leading up to the turn of the century. Now, housing 100 people in a bunker doesn't sound all that bizarre, but the truly ground breaking part of the project is that the 100 participants were being filmed at all times (eating, sleeping, showering, and even in the bathroom). Each bed (or "pod" as they are called) is equipped with a display monitor and a video camera so that at any time any other person can watch and communicate with you on your "channel." Still, this doesn't sound that bizarre, right? In addition to the constant filming and utter removal of privacy, Harris also added in a firing range (stocked with an assortment of semi-automatic weapons to make any NRA member drool), a mock temple, and an interrogation room where an interrogation artist trained by the CIA attempted to mentally sabotage members of the group with demanding interrogations. Needless to say, the results are a bit disturbing.
The second experiment, "We Live In Public", is a more subdued project in which Harris and his then-girlfriend installed cameras throughout their apartment and attempted to live in full view of the world at all times. What begins as an almost romantic endeavor by a loving couple ends in disaster and eventually leads to Harris undergoing a mental breakdown.
Throughout the film, Timoner uses segments of interviews from various friends and family of Harris to highlight his unique persona. From sending his mother a videotape of himself rather than physically going to visit her on her death bed to his escapades as Luvvy the Clown (a topic you must see to believe), it's clear that Harris has a unique outlook on life. Often called the "Warhol of the Web" - a nickname that he scoffs at in the special features, claiming instead that "I'm Andy Warhol's wet dream!" Harris is often off-putting but never boring.
After winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival last year for We Live In Public, (and previously with 2004's Dig!) Ondi Timoner is now the only director to ever win this prize twice. We Live In Public is a stirring documentary that speaks to the direction our society is heading in a visceral fashion without feeling demanding or pedagogical. Instead, Timoner relies on the vivid life of Josh Harris (and a few brief discussions of the pervasive nature of MySpace and Facebook culture) to paint a clear picture of the direction we are currently pointing in. Similar to virtual reality guru Jaron Lanier's manifesto You Are Not a Gadget, Timoner's film warns of a future when technology consumes us.
As the credits roll, the lyrics to the memorable 1996 Jamiroquai hit "Virtual Insanity" play in the background. And in this context, the lyrics begin to take on an entirely clearer meaning than ever before:
The future's made of virtual insanity, now
Always seem to be governed by this love we have
for useless twisting of our new technology
Oh now there is no sound, for we all live underground
Though the Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary film have already been revealed to be lacking Timoner's film, We Live In Public is easily one of the best documentaries of 2009.
If one day, dear reader, you wake up and after tea, coffee or whatever breakfast nutrition takes your fancy, you suddenly experience a deep and abiding desire to plumb the worst excesses of the dot com craze, including the subsequent crash and burn that cut the market value of the Nasdaq in half from a level it hasn't even begun to approach in the years since the Spring of 2000, and if along with this sudden urge to revisit the destruction of enterprise value, you also have a hankering to see the corresponding human wasteland and the complete and utter debasement of individual self worth that money can be induced to create, well then friend, you are indeed in luck and We Live In Public is precisely the film for your viewing pleasure.
In glorious and living color, this film will show you the self abuse and degradation highly talented individuals who should have known better willingly subjected themselves to in the belief (misguided as things turned out) that the Internet is one big friendly global village that can provide for our every need, want and whimper for the amazingly low price of nothing down and nothing to pay. Ever. The leader and chief flutist of this Scheherazade was a man named Josh Harris who convinced his deluded minions that "Everything is free, except the video we make of you. That we own." To their enduring chagrin, they discovered that everything wasn't free, that psychic and emotional scars remain even after the cameras stopped rolling.
Strangely, the filmmakers interviewed no one from the New York City police department, the Mayor's office, or the leading press organs. There is a snippet of tape from a New York Times journalist, other than that, the film consists of sound bites from a coterie of Mr. Harris' family, friends, and former inmates at his asylum who still believe they were involved in something wonderful and precious.
Precious. Now that's a film worth seeing.
What I didn't know about was his adventures ( and fortune making) in the dot-com boom, and his social experiment project " Quiet". But what is really interesting about this doc is Josh Harris as a person- trying to tease out the truth from his statements, interviews with those who know him, and his work. Who is he? Prescient predictor of the future? Artist? Businessman? Bad Businessman? Brilliant? Misunderstood? Deluded? Watch this and come to your own conclusion.
I would have watched this DVD even if I weren't slightly familiar with the man, as I like the director's work, but even if you've never heard of her or Josh Harris, this is worth watching.