Friday, February 27, 2009

Big Screen/Little Screen

I am a sucker for the big screen--I think it makes every movie about 20% better to see it in a big dark room full of like-minded citizens, with the images larger than lifesized and some fancy sound-system. I am not much of a cinophile, I just like movies a lot a lot a lot. To the point that if my viewing companion talks to me, it is always a delicate etiquette moment--ignore and be rude to companion, speak and be rude to other theatre-goers and possibly miss something crucial on-screen. The only exception to this is city-skyline establishing shots; for some reason, I feel permitted--nay, bound--to talk during those. It's not just me: every Rosenblum feels compelled, as soon as we see a skyline, to name it, and simultaneously to jab our companions in the ribs. No idea why.

Maybe my love of the theatre experience is why I've been so out of the loop about the You Tube revolution (there was another post about this a while back, but I'm too lazy to find it right now). The screen is all little and YouTube is a non-event--you don't plan the time, book the evening free, invite the escort. You just watch a two-minute video here, a 30-second one there as a breather from work, and maybe a week later, it comes up in conversation and you can jab someone in the ribs and say, "That was set on Mars, you know."

On Wednesday, I had the unique experience of watching a couple animated shorts (a YouTube staple) on a big screen in a dark room full of likeminded citizens. The films were wonderful, and I think they would've been on any size screen. This is the work of animator Nick Fox-Gieg, set to various texts. Check out his site now to see "Foxhole Manifesto" and "I Wanna Be Famous", among others, then go back at the beginning of March to see the one about the orange (we got a sneak-preview). It's one of the best things I've seen in a long while.

I don't know about the other two, but the setting of "I Wanna Be Famous" sorta looked Toronto-y.

This party's over


August said...

I've deliberately avoided the YouTube revolution, but it's mostly because I'm insanely picky about image and sound quality. I spent $80 on the dvd of my favourite movie so I could get the best possible transfer from film. YouTube is never going to cut it for me.

Also, chances are pretty good I'm the guy three rows beyond you throwing popcorn every time you talk during an establishing shot of the skyline. ;)

Rebecca Rosenblum said...

Put down the popcorn! All I ever say, when I see a skyline, is the name of the city I think it is. See a skyline, jab companion with elbow, whisper, "Hong Kong!" "Chicago!" or "Halifax!". then enjoy the rest of the movie in silence.

For some reason, my gut instinct is to interpret establishing shots a geography quiz.

I guess it is obnoxious, but really brief. Worse when I realize I'm wrong and have to try again.

August said...

I don't actually throw popcorn, don't worry. I may, when I feel bold, whisper "ssshhh!" :)

However, since moving to Toronto my expenses have doubled and my income has stayed roughly the same, so a night at the movies has become an official Big Deal, the sort of thing that can't happen more than once every couple of months. As a result, I tend to be extra-sensitive about the experience. A night at the movies (plus paying for my date) back home costs about the same as a single ticket does here. It's not the off-the-cuff experience it used to be. :/

August said...

When I went to see Burn After Reading, the young lady in the seat behind me gave a long speech about the cost, durability, and brand names of all the various sex toys that appeared in Clooney's home, while her friend kept tapping her toe against the back of my seat. the entire filme was taken up by the thought: "for this I paid $45?"

Rebecca Rosenblum said...

I once saw a girl punch a guy in the face in a crowded theatre. Apparently he'd been talking throughout the show and she waited until the lights came up afterwards so she could get a clean shot.