Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's the pictures that got small

A.C. Douglas links to some things, decrying the loss of the whole movie experience on an iPhone or something like it. (David Lynch's brilliant parody, for one).

Ordinarily, especially when it comes to cinema, I'd agree. Let's take Mr. Lynch's advice, though, and "get real." The people likely to put a movie on their telephone are not the people likely to be putting the Criterion Collection version of Godard's À Bout de Souffle on there, or - for that matter - Altman's Secret Honor or anything by Welles.

They're putting movies on their iPhone, most likely, of the most execrable popcorn-matinée variety. All the schmaltzy, sappy stuff that Hollywood churns out like so much sorghum does not need to be treated specially, since it doesn't really need the experience to work. Melodramas, shoot-'em-up action flicks, and cheap comedies can be preserved on an iPhone, since there's nothing to preserve.

Great movies deserve to be viewed as intended when possible; good movies deserve to be viewed and appreciated as art; bad movies deserve the iPhone. If they're lucky. It's like the difference between ripping a good recording of Das Rheingold at 320 kbps and the latest Killers record at 128 kbps. You might be losing data at 128 kbps, but you're not losing anything.


At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm an Indianapolis resident and first time poster...I'm also a huge Wagner fan with far too many recording of his operas (just ask my wife).

Anyway, I tend to agree with your movie comment. But, I've found my iPod Video to be an excellent way to get an opera in complete with subtitles while on the road.

It's not the ideal way to watch it or listen, but as I travel for a living it does make plane rides and airport time more bearable.

Again, I see the miniaturization as a way to enjoy things I couldn't do 10 years ago. It's not ideal but I'd rather give 80% of my attention to Wagner or Bach than 100% to the stuff on most radio stations these days.

Thanks for the blog,


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