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THE CIRCLE. James Ponsoldt, dir., co-script with Dave Eggers. Based on the novel The Circle by Dave Eggers. Danny Elfman, music. United Arab Emirates, USA: Imagenation (sic) Abu Dhabi FZ et al. (production) / STX Entertainment (US theatrical distribution), 2017 (see IMDb for complex production and districtution).[1]

The film in its theatrical-release form either has coherence problems or is too subtle, fair, and balanced for its own good, so it's difficult to say just where it comes down on the issues it raises. Like the source novel (q.v.), it is in intention a gentle dystopia, satirizing a world of "transparency" and, to use the name of a company not mentioned in the movie, "Constant Contact." The film hints at but does not develop the theme of work-place oppression of the high-tech variety: instant surveys of customer satisfaction, the cybernetic equivalent of the assembly-line speed-up, demands for employees to participation in the social life of The Circle campus community. See for spy-camera surveillance; smart-phone linked mob action, including tracking down people; a reference to guaranteeing the safety of children by constantly tracking them with chips implanted in bone. Above all: the end of privacy with the dictum "Secrets are Lies" and the technology to track people constantly. Cf. numerous recent works, including The Last Enemy of 2008 and those cited by the critics.[2]

Note contrast of campus for The Circle with the natural world in the San Francisco Bay area, and with the musical motif of "Simple Gifts," sometimes heard with a suggestion of electronic distortion.

RDE, Initial Compiler 28/IV/17 [CATEGORY: Drama]]