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Cogito Ergo

July 20, 2014

Does anybody out there still believe in the movie experience?

Laptops, tablets, smart phones, Google Glass, all are shifting the way we watch, even the way we make and perceive movies.

Moviegoing had been a communal experience for the better part of the twentieth century before the digital revolution.

Some of us “leaned in” while most of us cast eyes downward, ensorcerized by the glowing screens in the palms of our hands.

So, where are we now?

Where do you think we’re going?

Big dishes scan the skies 24/7.

Any thoughts from out there in “deep space”…?

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7 Comments
  1. CHRISTINE D. ELLESTAD permalink

    I LOVE THE OUTDOOR MOVIES ON THE LAWN IN SOUTHERN VILLAGE! Reminds me of the drive ins of my childhood where we played on the playground while waiting for it to get dark and ten ate all sorts of junk food without any sense of apprehension about our health. Then watched Elvis movies and dreamed of going to sunny California where everyone was beautiful. Ah the memories of youth.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Paul permalink

    Well, let’s break this movie experience down by generations. Being in the middle of the Baby Boomer pack, I would say most of us did indeed grow up in that “movie theater experience” where taking in the latest flick was a social event. We tried to match up friends that had a certain liking for a particular genre and went with them. Sometimes, when a real popular movie hit the screens, we would round up a large cohort of our social network and all see it together. So the socialization of the movie experience was in the Baby Boomer culture. However, as the Baby Boomers began to age they thought they could capture that “big screen” effect in their homes, and gave birth to home theaters. So the Baby Boomers are responsible for the screen-size arms race integrated into their domains as an essential element of modern day living.

    Then came the Gen X’ers, the progeny of the first wave of Boomers. They were the first to experience the age of computers, primarily through games. Gaming became a big event for many. Initially, they would invite a friend or two over for a game of Pong or Space Invaders, but the socialization phenomenon was reduced from the many to the few. Movies were something they might watch on their parents 42-inch plasma tv connected to a stereo for that early home theater enjoyment.

    Following the Generation X, we of course have the Generation Y group (clearly we lost some creativity in naming generations!). Members of this group are often referred to as “screenagers,” because they are inundated with screens from various devices, from their parents larger plasma and LED tvs connected to larger and more expansive sound systems to small screens found on their pads and smart telephones. The Y generation are less discriminating when it comes to the size of the screen for their experience. As long as they can watch anything at anytime, anywhere, they are content. Also, giving rise to the ability to play games with virtual friends anywhere on the planet, there is no need to “invite your friends over for a game of Pong!” So the ubiquitous screen came at the price of socialization at the movie theater. And you know what….they don’t care. At least not all that much, because the largest attendance at movie theaters today is still the age group of 12-18. But the theater is less important than the content of the movie.

    So where does this all lead us in the future. The joys of watching a good movie will have less to do with the size of the screen or the location of the theater, but more to do with the content that can be enjoyed anywhere and anytime, with or without friends. The screenagers want instant content, much like the Baby Boomers wanted instant gratification for owning things (hence credit card debt among this age group). Look at what some content providers are doing now. They create a television series designed to run an episode each week, but they release the entire season at once for those unwilling to sit and wait a whole week for the next episode. What does that tell you about the future! And if you don’t think this is happening to the movie industry, just take a look at the music industry…it happened years ago.

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  3. Dean Paton permalink

    Assuming more people are “looking down,” as you say, which is both a description of the physical as well as the psychological, then those handheld screens are just another way the marketplace — and those little screens are in peoples’ hands because of the marketplace — works to isolate and alienate hominids from “dangerous” group experiences.

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    • • And no one these days even realizes that our glowing palms are due to the fluoridation of our water supplies. Why, there are studies underway to fluoridate our salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, even our ice cream, all 69 flavors? Indeed, Apple is at the epicenter of the research to develop self-propagating iFlouride. It will be a foreign substance introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That’s the way those hard-core Islamo-Kenyan terrorists work. Yes, I first became aware of this threat during a post coital reverie.

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