Saturday, May 2, 2009

New: What, Do You Own the World?

A few days ago I offhandedly blogged my disappointment over the popularity of digital film. I hope, if anyone even paid it any attention, that it didn't come across as too critical. I don't hate the look of digital film, but I do love the way life looks through a traditional video camera.

I'll take one more step back from this: I have nothing against the present and future; in fact, I like them both, and the same goes for the past, and the technology of all time periods. What I don't like is the way we follow trends. I don't like one way coming along and dominating the world. Some people are very backwards-thinking, others look constantly to the future, and others live only for the current moment, and I don't approve of any of that. The past has happened, the future will happen, and we living now have been given the luxury of being able to think about both.

I'm always amazed when someone starts telling me that I need a cellphone or I have to get on Facebook. Human life... hundreds of years.... people have managed to do pretty well without cellphones. What benefit does it give me that a phone in my room doesn't? It's easier to lose, I'll give it that. I could give it an obnoxious ringtone or send text messages or something, but those don't sound much like positives to me. I'm not an important businessperson who needs to be accesible at all times, and I'm not so overcome with the fear that I could be the victim of an emergency that could be solved by the ability to make a phone call that I'm going to carry around an expensive toy everywhere I go and pay monthly fees for the privilege to do so. And you Facebookers: Now that you're on the latest "social network," how often do you check your MySpace? Is that still important and necessary? What about your Xanga page?

Now is great; I love now, but it doesn't at the cost of then. Digital cameras exist and they have all sorts of wonderful benefits, but traditional cameras also have advantages of their own. You can apply effects to digital video that are supposed to replicate the look of old film, and the results can be alright (Grindhouse is awesome, for example) but it's never quite true. Financially, it makes sense to shoot a movie digitally, and it makes editing much easier, but there are still old cameras in the world, probably available for purchase. Moreover, the technology for making cameras in the classic way still exists.

I'm talking old, by the way. Old, if you can consider fifty years ago old, that is. Here's what I was watching when I started thinking about all this:

Beautiful. I don't want everything to look like that, but ignoring the content, the film itself is eye pleasing. Digital just doesn't look like that, and I think there should be room in the world for both, and many more styles, too. Which, of course, I've just sort of proven there are by presenting a clip from the past. There it is, still a part of the world.

Here's what this is really about: I want a '60s camera. Also, a record player. I've been checking turntables out at thrift stores recently. I might get one soon. We'll see. Maybe tonight. I don't know why I've been putting it off. It's not like they're getting any cheaper. Old cameras are tough to find, though, and I bet it's even tougher to find film. What a shame.

Oh, on the subject of shame, have you heard about this?

I don't want to spoil the surprise about what I'm linking, but I do want you to click it, so I'll link it ten more times.


1 comment:

nicole. said...

i feel that way about still photography. it costs an arm and a leg but i have a film slr. not a digital slr and god, i love it so much. you can't get that look with a digital.