TRACEROUTE (Celludroid Festival)
a Film by Johannes Grenzfurthner
This highly original and entertaining documentary exploring Nerd / Geek Culture has Austrian Johannes Grenzfurthner on a road trip across the USA digging into every aspect of it.
(Trailer & more details below)
Pop culture magazine Boing Boing calls Traceroute "a brilliantly careening biography of a highly enigmatic species. Traceroute is radical individual empiricism, a narrative biographical puzzle and an experimental projection matrix. Despite continual stimulus satiation, it is wonderful fun: the film tickles the synapses with a perfectly mixed cocktail of collectively shared context and quirkiness."
Mental Floss' Chris Higgins writes about Traceroute: "As many nerds have noticed, there's a glut of nerd-positive documentaries out there, but they tend to be either too self-serious, or too focused on the trappings of fandom to actually say much. Traceroute manages to be a real film, with humor and true insight (sometimes called out for us—and delightfully nullified—with a blinking 'INSIGHT' faux-HTML tag onscreen), primarily because it focuses on Grenzfurthner's personal journey, and he doesn't take himself too seriously. Let's put that another way: The director uses himself and a handful of subjects to create his story, and that specificity—coupled with his playfulness—makes it work. At one point he licks the chrome head of a Terminator prop. Then he licks a zombie head prop. Then he licks the propmaster himself. It's delightful.
"Patrick Lichty of net culture magazine Furtherfield calls it "magical - After watching Traceroute, I was left with a real exhilaration and a deeply reflective feeling at once. What Traceroute reveals is the tradition of alterity just beneath the surface of Western culture, and that it has a powerful effect on our mass consciousness, whether it is in plain sight or not."
Felix Knoke of Engadget Germany writes: "For me it is the best nerd documentary I've seen so far. Simply for the fact that it doesn't take itself as deadly serious as the other ones. Traceroute deserves high praise because it represents an old-school definition of nerd culture, one that is never compatible with fintech, unicorn and iGod."
Pop culture critic Thomas Kaestle comments: "Traceroute is game, challenge, encyclopedia, and sentimental journey all in one. As a documentary it is most skillfully composed. And as a narration it is highly compatible. This film will, in passing, sweep proclaimed nerds off their feet. And it will touch the hearts of those who still need some explanation."
Diamond in the Rough Films praises Grenzfurthner's hosting and storytelling: "This doc works in some very unconventional ways, not the least of which is our plucky protagonist. Grenzfurthner is an absolute charmer as our host and his narration is note-perfect (the accent is so cool in that Werner Herzog kind of way). It's really rare in a documentary about a not-that-famous person where you become almost instantly won-over and invested in their personal journey."
Blogger and sci-fiction author Cory Doctorow states about Traceroute that "Johannes is a brilliant lunatic of surpassing and delightful weirdness."
MicroFilmmaker Magazine writes: "The different people Grenzfurthner chatted with were genuinely interesting and the organic way he moved from place to place was intriguing. You'll find that you've learned an awful lot about technology, nerdiness, and America."
Richard Propes (The Independent Critic) writes: "It's challenging. It's thought-provoking. It's remarkably honest. It's well researched. If you're expecting nothing more than your usual nerd doc with its cosplay cuteness and asocial gamers, you're going to be not just disappointed but probably traumatized. Grenzfurthner is clearly full-on willing to challenge culture, stereotypes, accepted thoughts and just about everything else. There's a healthy dose of sexuality in Traceroute, which one might expect, yet Grenzfurthner also immerses the film in politics, activism and social shifts. Refreshingly devoid of the pretentiousness so often found amongst truly intellectual films, Traceroute is simultaneously a pretty wonderful personal journey and an immensely satisfying cinematic experience."(above quotes from WikiPedia)
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