Quick observations about some of the film and media articles that have crossed my radar in the last few days:
- Everyone is talking about the Jeffrey Rosen article about how the Internet is making us incapable of forgetting and how it is leading to the end of privacy. The article goes on to suggest that social media are leading to the “end of the fragmented self,” now that all aspects of our lives are visible online. Although most people seem to buy into Rosen’s arguments, I think Scott Rosenberg offers a much more nuanced reading of how personal reputation “is evolving” in the age of social media. Rosenberg is correct to point out that much of what is posted online is forgotten or lost. More crucially, Rosen uses only a small number of cases–one of them several years old–to imply that incriminating photos and Facebook comments are costing people jobs, and as Rosenberg points out, these aren’t ancient comments that come back to haunt someone several years after the fact; they are actually relatively contemporaneous.
- This week’s In Media Res posts focus on transmedia storytelling, with this week’s curators including Christy Dena, Marc Ruppel, Robert Pratten, Brian Newman, and Ted Hope. See Ted Hope’s Truly Free Film blog for more details. Today’s post by Dena takes us back to a 1972 documentary, The Computer Generation, to document just how far we have come with regard to using the computer for artistic purposes.
- The cinetrix has a near-perfect takedown of the Duplass brothers’ most recent film, Cyrus. Although I liked the film more than she did, I agree that the film’s conflict between John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill over Marisa Tomei offers a tired rehashing of Eve Sedgwick’s thesis in Between Men. Worse, as she points out, the camerawork is awful, managing to make both Catherine Keener and Tomei look washed out and often out of focus. Read her post for a beautifully snarky critique and send Tomei and Keener’s agents some better scripts asap.
- July 24 was the big day for Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald’s YouTube documentary, Day in the Life, though users have until July 31 to submit their footage for the project. In response, Edward Delaney at Documentary Tech assesses the future of crowdsourced documentary. I generally agree with Delaney that the planned film shows the strengths and limitations of corwdsourcing, but I’m a little less convinced that the film’s “novelty” will draw out a big audience, especially given similar efforts (The Beastie Boys’ Awesome, I F**** Shot That) in the past. Worth noting: the Sundance Institute’s marketing efforts that cast the film as “part of history” and to be a part of film that will feature the work of indie filmmakers like Joe Berlinger, Marianna Palka, and Caleb Deschanel.
- After Andrew Breitbart’s craven attempts to disparage Shirley Sherrod through a heavily-edited video, I’ve found myself thinking about the role of web video in political discourse again. TPM has an interesting article discussing efforts by the Democratic National Committee to train video trackers to capture conservative campaign missteps on video in search of a new “macaca moment,” as part of their “Accountability Project.” Here is a photo, courteous of TPM, that they were distributing at this year’s Netroots Nation convention.
- Finally, The Yes Men have leapt into the free distribution game, making their movie, The Yes Men Fix the World, available for download on Bit Torrent and other websites, with the hopes that appreciative fans will circulate the film as widely as possible.