Monday, July 23, 2012

Why I Like Movies on a Teeny, Tiny Screen

I have always been a movie buff. As I grew up, the silver screen changed from standard size to Cinerama, from CinemaScope to IMAX and back to widescreen. Then movies became a family-centered, at-home experience, going from television to home theatres and finally a solo, on-the-road experience — going from computer to iPod to tablet.

As much as I have enjoyed them all, possibly my favorite medium is the tiny little screen on the iPod. Most people I have talked to have never even watched a film on the iPod, and yet I am so close to it. Why? It is the intimacy of the entire experience: a one-to-one relationship with the characters, a total immersion in the situation and the story, and the feeling of being alone with the subject matter, almost as if the entire performance is only for you. This is my own; I need not share it with anyone.
The control also appeals to me — the fact that you can hold the event in your hand and dispense with it when you are prepared to do so, and yet it’s always available to you, so that you can resume watching whenever you are ready. It sometimes takes me a few weeks to get through a feature length film, as I often watch it in segments, riding on a train, sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, taking a “work break” in a taxi on my way to a business appointment, etc. It is just plain cozy... like my iPod is the friend in my pocket.

I generally keep about four or five movies on my iPod. They are movies that I don’t mind watching over again a few times ... they have staying power. What’s on there now? Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The King’s Speech and The Fighter. I will periodically move some new ones in and take the old ones out.
Had anyone predicted that I would have felt this way about the tiny screen — when bigger has always been better for me — I would have rejected that POV in a heartbeat. But sometimes communications channels, and the satisfaction they bring, surprise —which is why I am always ready to dip my toe in the water and experience the benefits of a new channel. And I believe there are many adventures ahead. For example, it is in part the creativity of new communications channels that has made the Internet the wonder that it is.



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