7.2/10
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8 user 53 critic

We Live in Public (2009)

Unrated | | Documentary | 3 September 2010 (Norway)
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3:55 | Trailer
A documentary focusing on the life of dot-com entrepreneur Josh Harris, and his exploits over the last decade.

Director:

Ondi Timoner

Writer:

Ondi Timoner
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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The story of entrepreneur Josh Harris, who came to rise in the early years of the dot com boom. Feature film based on the 2009 documentary, 'We Live in Public.'

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Jonah Hill
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Cast

Credited cast:
Josh Harris Josh Harris ... Himself
Tom Harris Tom Harris ... Himself - Brother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carlos Alvarez Carlos Alvarez ... Cowboy
David Amron David Amron
Alex Arcadia Alex Arcadia
Zero Boy Zero Boy
Brett Brewer Brett Brewer
Owen Bush Owen Bush
Jason Calacanis Jason Calacanis
Cal Chamberlain Cal Chamberlain
Tanya Corrin Tanya Corrin
Jeffrey Deitch Jeffrey Deitch
Chris DeWolfe Chris DeWolfe
Abby Ellin Abby Ellin
Feedbuck Feedbuck
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Storyline

On the 40th anniversary of the Internet, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC tells the story of the effect the web is having on our society as seen through the eyes of "the greatest Internet pioneer you've never heard of", visionary Josh Harris. Award-winning director, Ondi Timoner ("DIG!"), documented his tumultuous life for more than a decade, to create a riveting, cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives. Josh Harris, often called the "Warhol of the Web" through the infamous dot.com boom of the 1990's, founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network and created his vision of the future, an underground bunker in NYC where 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days over the millennium. He proved how in the not-so-distant future of life online, we will willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire. Through his experiments, including a six-month stint living under 24-hour live surveillance online ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

internet | online | f rated | gun | y2k | See All (9) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 2010 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Wszystko na widoku See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,325, 30 August 2009

Gross USA:

$41,711

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$41,711
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Interloper Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Josh Harris: Lions and tigers used to be kings of the jungle and then one day they wound up in zoos - I suspect we're on the same track.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonage Daydream
Written and Performed by David Bowie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fascinating Film about a Peculiar Internet Pioneer
18 March 2009 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

This film was shown at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX after winning the grand jury prize at Sundance. It was well received in Austin as well. It is a fascinating look at the early days of the Internet through the biography of one its pioneers Josh Harris. The film is well-done in a technical sense and fascinating ride, but I'm not sure if it ever figures out if it's a history of an industry, a study of the social impact of Internet, or a biopic about the peculiar mad scientist, John Harris. It tries to be all of these things and thus perhaps undermines its own ability to completely succeed at any of them.

The film is informative in filling in some of the early history and Harris's key role with the mostly forgotten 1990s pioneering ventures of Jupiter Communications and Pseudo.com. But Harris seems to move away from his role as a computer nerd and begins to evolve into a dysfunctional performance artist who seems to want to demonstrate that the Internet will break down all remnants of human privacy. The film maker seems to want emphasize his visionary qualities in which he is predictive of today's MySpace and Facebook culture.

However, this reviewer doesn't find his bunker experiment or his living in public online to be particularly insightful or predictive. The whole concept was more-or-less foreshadowed in Jim Carrey's Truman Show in the 1990s. Nor is it particularly predictive. Harris was creating venues in which people were forced to live in public in front of cameras with predictably unhealthy and destructive results. Today, we choose voluntarily how much of our lives to allow the public – and really only our chosen friends – to view online. The difference between everyone's lives being on display and allowing our friends to see limited glimpses of our lives is vast. Harris seems like a tragic and self-destructive figure, who is constantly rewriting his own experiences in his own mind. He is estranged from his family and unable to establish and maintain intimate relationships.

In the end, he seems to have stranded himself on his own Gilligan's Island (with which he is obsessed). He is either a clown (another one of his characters) or simply a reclusive madman. The film provides an intriguing picture of an internet pioneer who went off the deep end, but I'm not sure if it achieves its goal of truly using Josh's experiences to critique the virtual world that he played a key early role in helping construct. The virtual world, for all its flaws, is not the world of total public voyeurism that Josh imagined it would become.


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