Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Online Cinema

Short Film: Marisa Olson’s Netacronyms

By Mike Everleth ⋅ July 4, 2008

Directed by Marisa Olson, the short film Netacronyms begs the question: Does anybody ever really start rolling on the floor because they’re laughing so hard? Hey, I like to laugh. But I don’t think I’ve ever done that.

A lot of those goofy acronyms you see on the ‘net are understandable. Honestly, the only one I ever sneak into an email or an IM conversation is BTW, but I never see anybody else using it, so I don’t know how popular it is. Plus, I’ve had a couple people ask me over the years what the hell that even means.

And I absolutely refuse to use LOL. I still remember the day i first saw it in use during an IM conversation where the person used it after every line they typed. And they weren’t even funny at all! People laughing at their own utterances drives me nuts, whether it’s in real life or during a fake online conversation.

Anyway, this video looks like it was shot by Marisa, starring herself and produced with just a camera on a tripod. In it, she’s in a hotel room getting ready for a night out while having a conversation with an unseen guest, which is actually you, the viewer. The film is broken into little segments describing what each netacronym stands for, then Marisa casually drops it into her monologue.

It’s a charming little video, due to it’s goofily deadpan style. Even though the action is broken up by the “dictionary” title cards, I like the progression of Marisa’s primping and how each acronym seems to be organically inserted into the evolving conversation. It’s all very disjointed yet fluid at the same time. Plus, the video also helps to remind me just how much I truly hate netacronyms. I’m not sure that’s Marisa’s point, but I have a bug up my ass about them.

I found this video after posting about Marisa’s upcoming performance piece at Light Industry, which will be held in conjunction with her new book of poetry Poems I Wrote While Listening to the Doors, 1992-1994 (Before I found the internet). I’m not sure if this particular video will screen, but from the show description I don’t think so.

Since Marisa also posts over at the digital arts/avant-garde site Rhizome.org, which I frequently check out, I wanted to look up her work and found that she has a whole bunch of YouTube videos up in addition to Netacronyms. I absolutely loved this one called Dark Stars that serves as a commentary about the relationship between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. It’s very different from Netacronyms, but I highly recommend viewing that one, too.