Eeerily Topical ‘Open Windows’ Lets Its Entire Story Unfold Through a Computer Screen

Filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s first English-language film is about the format of the Internet itself--and its dark side.
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Filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s first English-language film is eerily topical. Open Windows, starring Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey, tells the story of an obsessed fan who takes his celebrity crush to a creepy, voyeuristic level thanks to the Internet. Many of the plot points of the film are reminiscent of the real-life celebrity hacking scandal that happened just last month. The movie is also unique because the entire story unfolds on a computer screen.

“It became a theory--to make this insane movie in which everything is told through the Internet. Could I tell a story about the format itself?” Vigalondo tells Fast Company’s Co.Create about his film. “I think it’s impossible to tell this story outside of the computer. If you tell it without the computer, it’s going to be a different thing.”

But one aspect of Internet culture that Vigalondo specifically and surprisingly chose to keep out of the movie was social media—and there’s a very astute reason for that. “The reason there’s no social media in Open Windows is because I was aware that every attempt to be realistic would be dated by the time the film was released. Technology is faster than feature filmmaking,” he explains. “Instead of trying to be realistic and feeling dated, we just had to make something that evokes reality, but that is not reality at all.

As to how timely the film is, Vigalondo is hesitant to feel much joy in that. “You love when your movies are talking about relevant stuff that is in the news, but on the other hand, it’s really horrifying,” he says. “When I made this movie, I didn’t want to make a strict cautionary tale about how wrong things can be on the Internet--I wanted to explore these things, and I’m so sad that this is more relevant than ever."

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