What message is the film presenting about technology?
Technology is all-encompassing. A bird alarm clock wakes the male character up and is his main means of communication with his love interest is via messaging. From above, the city itself looks like a circuit board with humans providing the energy running through it. Even the interior design of the male character’s flat has wallpaper and bed linen impressed with a design that reflects the patterns in electronic equipment.
The mother bird is heard, on two occasions, trying to mimic the sounds of the technology around her. First she mimics the beeping of the street cleaning machine and then tries to emulate the keyboard sounds of the female character’s mobile phone.
What losses and gains are described?
The most obvious loss is that of a connection with the natural world and also more natural human connections as everything appears to be mediated by technology. The people in the lift don’t communicate with each other as they are taken up to the space station. The two main characters sleep instead of communicating with each other, as they are carried up to the station. You never see them speak to each other. Ironically, a little bird icon is seen carrying a message from the female character to the male character on his mobile.
The primary gain is that of an extremely orderly, neat and clean environment, with very little natural material to ‘mess’ it up. Everything is square and runs in straight lines.
Who or what has ‘agency’ in this film?
Perhaps I’m getting the wrong end of the stick, but I would say that the primary agent in this film is technology. The characters’ lives are governed and encompassed by it and they appear to live fairly passive lives. They use the technology but in a mechanical, repetitive sort of way. Strangely enough, the male character seems to make more of a connection with the stunned fledgling on his window sill than he does with his girlfriend. In this sense, it would seem that the natural world is a stronger agent than the human beings, as it communicates directly, without the help of technology.