The Re-imagining of Pamela Anderson: A Review of Connected

Pamela Anderson still - underwear

   If Instagram was invented to present to the world the unrealistic, impossibly glamorous versions of ourselves and the make-believe dream lives we wish to present to the world, Connected exists on the opposite side of the looking glass - this a movie about decay and how we hope to mask it.

   The bizarre short film, which premiered on Vice, presents us with an uncanny face - this is Pamela Anderson, but presented in a manner in which we have not witnessed her in before. To speak the words "Pamela Anderson" is to conjure images of a barbie doll brought to life, air-brushed beyond human recognition. Yet, in Luke Gilford's short sci-fi, Anderson is dowdy, weathered and bereft of make-up; a "real" version of a character we've only experienced at the height of glamour. This is also the most human, and most talented, the former Baywatch actress has ever appeared on-screen.

   Connected tells the tale of Jackie (Anderson), an online fitness instructor whose value in life is measured by the followers she achieves on-line. Inevitably, these recede as she ages under the golden glow of an omnipresent screen. What can she do find a meaning in her life? To find a connection?



   The austere short is an interesting genesis of an idea which cleverly satirises our utopian beliefs in the power of the internet - a coda showing new age worship of a "connected" world wittily mocks the hippie/libertarian ideals upon which the world wide web was formed and its failed objectives to unite each of us under machines of loving grace. With Anderson as an aging beauty queen trapped in a cyber nightmare, the short feels very much like a character from Mulholland Drive transplanted into Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror.

    The ploy for attracting an audience to the short - to witness the reinvention of Pamela Anderson - is also the most successful aspect of Connected.  Here, Anderson displays a complete lack of vanity: as she studies herself in the mirror, trying to understand the body which homes her mind, she prods at the wrinkles on her face and the loose skin around her stomach. This isn't the air-brushed version of Anderson from magazine covers - this, in a world of machines and superfice, is a real person and a reminder of how we are each slowly wasting away regardless of how we try to hide the fact. None of us will live forever, not even in machinery.
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3 comments

  1. Nice review Kieron, thank you!
    I am curious what kind of rating would you give it? Because you seem kinda enthousiastic about the performance of Pamela Anderson but on the other hand I can't precisely filter your judgement about the plot.

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    1. Hi Tim - thanks for your comment. I've kept the review relatively short so didn't go overly into my thoughts on various details but I thought it was a decent premise done relatively well. I did think some of the ideas could be fleshed out a little more - I guess the same can be said of this article too :)

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  2. Sorry, I didn't see your 3 star (***) rating..

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