Saturday Links

A few of the things that I’ve been reading lately (and may want to reread later):

  • Henry Jenkins revisits his “Photoshop for Democracy” essay from 2004–developed in much further detail in Convergence Culture–on his blog in a review of Sarah Palin photoshops, many of which creatively use visual imagery to question Palin’s qualifications and address concerns about McCain’s age.  For the most part, I’ve written on the use of web video in mediating the 2008 election, but many of these photoshopped images, especially the ones that reference Juno, use some of the same intertextual strategies to comment upon the election.
  • Patrick Goldstein has an interesting blog discussion of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s assertion that in the near future all films will be made in 3-D.  Katzenberg’s argument relies on the primary assumption that 3-D is now capable of reproducing an immersive experience, arguing that even independent films–he cites the example of Juno–would be improved by allowing us into Juno’s living room.  Like Goldstein, I’m still somewhat skeptical, especially when Katzenebrg seems to imply that 3-D is inevitably a “better” experience simply because it is 3-D.  In fact, his enthusiasm for it actually leads him to imply that what he regards as two-dimensional media are somehow imperfect or lacking (“We can’t fix reading or paintings”) because they lack a third dimension, which seems false to me on multiple levels.  I’d certainly question whether paintings are necessarily two-dimensional, especially given the use of collage and other techniques, much less the issue of the positioning of the viewer in relationship to the painting.  More crucially, the idea of 2-D art such as painting somehow being less realistic than 3-D art such as sculpture just seems odd to me.  Katzenberg’s comments seem to have struck a  nerve.  Maybe I’ll do something longer on 3-D later.
  • In the most recent issue of FlowTV, Ethan Thompson addresses the aesthetics of web video via the practices of Josh Marshall’s TPMTV.  In preparing for the upcoming Flow Conference, I’ve been thinking about TPMTV and Brave New Films quite a bit lately.  Both sites make extensive use of the tools that allow broadcast media to be archived easily and then, through simple editing tools, to be juxtaposed against other texts.  Marshall, in particular, has been instrumental in using video to debunk some of the myths about the major presidential candidates, such as Sarah Palin’s now discredited claims about being a “reformer” who fought against the practice of obtaining earmarks.  Also worth checking out: Kathleen Battles’ FlowTV on “The Politics of Pluckiness.”
  • And now a few DC movie links: Sujewa gets the Film in Focus “Behind the Blog” treatment (thanks, Sujewa for the shout out!), Film in Focus also profiles the favorite movies of a number of 20th century US presidents, and finally a video of Ben Kingsley in the role of Minor Threat’s Ian MacKaye.

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