The Silent Era

That one guy who always forgets he's on mute.

German Expressionism

Your colleague with a penchant for mugging at the webcam. Every comment elicits in them an exaggerated physical response, by turns anguished and menacing.

Noir

Stark black and white. An icy blonde gets up to adjust her Venetian blinds, never to return. One by one, the Zoom participants—each an unreliable witness—are subjected to interrogation by the meeting moderator: “When did you see her last? Did she say she’d be back?” After several minutes of conflicting testimony related through flashbacks, the moderator begins to doubt if the woman ever really existed.

Italian Neorealism

In the background, you hear the voice of an old woman alternate between singing and shouting in a local dialect. Close-up of a man with a rough but friendly countenance eating a large panino. He eats with such zeal, you’d think he hasn’t seen proper food since the Allies liberated Rome. You’re not sure whether to laugh or cry.

French New Wave

The disaffected gamine from Accounting sits vaping. Her comments are terse and elliptical. She is either philosopher or fool—or both.

Disney Live-Action Adventure

A harried man attempts to gather his notes while his children—ages 6, 10, and 12—run in front of the screen, chasing a menagerie of talking pets. They are in desperate need of a stern yet loving nanny.

Bollywood

At first, the constant jingle-jangle of her jewelry is an unwelcome distraction. But soon, the clinking of bracelets takes on a celebratory quality as everyone in the meeting erupts into song and dance.

1970s Paranoia Thriller

The Robert Redford lookalike who is convinced the government is listening in on your staff meeting.

Robert Altman-esque

The Interrupter who thrives on the madcap energy of overlapping dialogue.

Horror

The doe-eyed intern videochats on her cell phone from her parents' remote farmhouse. A naked bulb dangling from the ceiling is the sole source of light. After losing her Wi-Fi connection several times, she heads down a long hallway and descends the stairs, announcing, “I’m just going down to the basement to check the router.” Everyone yells in unison, “NO! DON’T GO DOWN THERE!” But it’s too late.

Sexploitation

The CEO masturbates on-camera.

Mumblecore

The Low Talker.

Postmodern Pastiche

All of the above.


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