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[FILM] Scenes for iPods

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  • madchinaman
    In praise of a tiny thing Filmmakers make iPod-ready shorts that fit in your pocket. By John Patterson, Special to The Times
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2006
      In praise of a tiny thing
      Filmmakers make iPod-ready shorts that fit in your pocket.
      By John Patterson, Special to The Times
      http://theenvelope.latimes.com/news/more/print/env-en-
      smallscreen13dec13,0,4409636.story?coll=env-pollpromo


      Most directors believe movies deliver their strongest impact when
      splashed across 40 feet of widescreen, but Jonas Mekas, the 84-year-
      old poet, avant-garde film diarist and former columnist for the
      Village Voice, is praising a new — and to him perfect — 1-by-2-inch
      outlet for his work.

      "I call it the Eye-Pod," he says.

      Mekas has been filming himself, his friends and colleagues almost
      daily since 1949, on film and then video, every so often editing the
      results into lyrical essay/diary-style movies such as "Walden"
      (1969), "Lost Lost Lost" (1975) and last year's "A Letter From
      Greenpoint." On Friday, the Maya Stendhal Gallery in New York and the
      website JonasMekas.com are hosting a 365-day exhibit of Mekas' iPod-
      ready shorts, inspired by similar calender-based projects by artists
      like Pirandello, Petrarch and the late Hollis Frampton. Also promised
      are homage-style contributions from Mekas' longtime admirers and
      fellow New Yorkers Jim Jarmusch and Martin Scorsese.

      "Often in my films," Mekas says, "things run in one- to four-minute
      segments, like little haikus, so it fits perfectly on the iPod. It's
      right there in your hand, not the same as in a theater.

      "It's a much more private, intimate experience, like reading a book
      or a poem. It's like a postcard versus a letter, or a text message,
      even. A letter is more grammatical, sensitive or polished; with a
      postcard you just jot some notes. The same thing happens on the iPod,
      and it's more personal, more condensed."

      Screen size, Mekas believes, doesn't matter.

      "I had a friend, [artist] George Maciunas — the father of the Fluxus
      movement, who died in 1984 — an insomniac who kept this tiny Sony 8-
      by-5-inch TV going all night. Watching it, I'd get so involved, I
      found that the size disappears, the screen is forgotten, and you are
      as involved as you might be watching it at Radio City Music Hall.
      Even if it's an action movie or a western — all the spaces are
      there."
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