Our interview with director Amos Why and producer Teresa Kwong for the film Everyphone Everywhere, which premiered at the Far East Film Festival 2023, with whom we talked about our daily addiction to smartphones.
There isn’t so much the incommunicability at the heart of Everyphone Everywherethe film premiered at Far East Film Festival 2023, but our daily and increasingly invasive relationship with technology and smartphones. What’s the solution? Accidentally staying 24 hours without a device, this seems to tell us the comedy. We tried to ask the person concerned, whom we met at the Festival, to find out how he came up with such an idea and why he decided to tell the public about it.
24 hours without smartphone
Director Amos Why he is very convinced of the usefulness of the accident that happens to the protagonist of his film: “Not only do I think it is possible to survive 24 hours without a smartphone but also that it can become a sort of blessing. Because being able to get away from your device and your hectic life for a while can become a technological detox. It can certainly be uncomfortable in everyday life and hectic that we all have but it can also become an opportunity to stop and breathe for a moment, enjoy the moment and what we have outside of technology. We cannot escape our smartphones so forgetting it at home may perhaps be the only way ( laughs)”. But is the film, like others in the Far East 2023, about incommunicability and having to reconnect with each other after the pandemic? According to the director in this case the matter is different: “I wouldn’t say, because it’s all set during a day (24 hours) specifically in 2022, so during the pandemic and therefore you still feel that sense of oppression and anxiety in the film, given that for example people still wear masks and still have to submit to the restrictions of that period”.
Everyphone Everywhere, the review: 24 hours without a smartphone
Three stories in one
At the beginning Everyphone Everywhere is presented as the story of the protagonist who forgets his phone at home, but in reality as we continue in the vision, we see other stories that show other facets of our daily relationship with technology, which get stuck with her. An idea that was present in the script right from the start or did it come up later, during production, on set? Amos Why started from real life stories: “The idea of the forgotten smartphone at home came to me because it really happened to me once, so it’s based on my personal experience. The other stories also have to do with my life experiences, and they were all thought up from the beginning . All except the school reunion between friends, because we needed something that could act as a glue and make all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. The idea from the beginning was to present three apparently disconnected stories which then at a certain point found points connection for the public”.
Laughter on the set and the relationship with social media
There are many funny scenes in the film. Even on the set they must have enjoyed shooting them, yet the director doesn’t remember a particularly hilarious moment: “Also because given the pandemic period, we had to be very firm and loyal on the roadmap so as not to go over it. Furthermore, until we had brought the scene home, it wasn’t funny in our eyes”. There is not only the relationship with smartphones at the center of the film but with all devices and with technology. How does Amos Why handle social media? “I think today we are really addicted to our smartphones, because they are not just phones, but it is as if they contain all our daily life in one place (laughs). And they are tools that keep us connected to the internet 24/7″. At that point the producer intervenes Teresa Kwong: “But it must also be said that he makes these statements but before we arrived he asked me to take photos and videos during the Festival, since he is always online, always connected (laughs)”. I’d say there’s nothing more to add, your honour.