Pulse ★★★★

I really love the feel that the late 90s/early 00s movies bring. The fuzzy analogue graininess of the film, the muted colour palette, the overall softness and subtleness. Timid attempts at CGI, so naive compared to contemporary advancement, and yet so much more comforting.

Still in disbelief that Y2K didn't happen, learning to overcome the fear of computers and trying to make sense of the new and mysterious force that is the Internet - intruding more and more into the lives of common people.

"Kairo" explores that theme and dives deep into the subject, trying to find the connection between the living, breathing human world and the unknown digital one. The bridge between these realms turns out to be the ghosts - they exist in the borderline state, just like the users on the Internet. (One could definitely draw parallels between "Kairo" and "Serial Experiment Lain", but I don't really want to do that in fear of being too on-the-nose.)

"Why did you get into the Internet? Do you want to connect with people on there?" - asks Harue. "No one really connects, you know. We all stay separated." The abysmal loneliness, the void that we try to fill with our presence on the Internet, in the end it swallows us whole. We become nothing more than online entities, leaving only a dirty stain on the wall, desperately trying to connect.

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