When I was in high school, films and music were my escape.
I used to have a library of VHS tapes envisioning I could start my own video rental company some day. I even considered charging classmates to rent out the tapes, but never had the business acumen to pull it off.
Then came the DVD. For the longest time I resisted, but became a late adopter of the technology once I bought the special edition DVD of Fight Club in 2000. Despite the format change, I wasn’t happy with my local Blockbuster’s selection.
This brings me to Netflix.
I never once considered the concept of the internet or an interactive community outside of face to face conversation. Netflix provided an opportunity to access a multitude of titles, many of which were considered not mainstream enough for big box stores.
As an angst-ridden teenage cinephile, Netflix was my catnip. Through Netflix I began to watch what I wanted when I wanted to. And therein lies the problem. Netflix was my pusher and I could get my fix in a few days. A few years later with streaming, I could get it instantly.
In a digital age, we no longer have the patience to wait for *anything*. This translates to a short attention span for many. Heck, I’m writing this blog post on my phone right now. This also translates to the revolutionary nature of mp3’s, Napster and later p2p (peer to peer) sharing sites.
Ten years from now, we’ll wax nostalgic for the day of CDs like we do now for records . I envision retrobars spinning compact discs, playing Coldplay and American Idol albums on loop.
God I hope not.
Regardless, I fear this will result in the death of the slow burn. Music and film are now often programmed to be immediate, accessible. Very few albums or films are a major success unless they sell the sizzle, something that pulls the viewer or listener instantly. Unfortunately, this often results in movies engineered for Trailers and albums engineered for singles.
All I’m saying is maybe it isn’t so ironic that the notoriously slow moving films of Terence Malick are now getting booed at Cannes and a film like Lost in Translation is slammed for not having a “story”…
On that upbeat note, happy Memorial Day weekend to my American friends out there!!!!
John still loves Lost in Translation and doesn’t care what others think. He can be tweeted at @jododojo10 or even contacted at his new, shiny Tumblr blog – newwaveofthefuture.tumblr.com