Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WS Multiples and Multitasking

The Virtual Window seems to assert that single screen films are an antiquated medium that are smothering the possibilities of multiples in cinematography. Apparently because we have become accustomed to multitasking in our daily lives we should be able to embrace the use of multiple screens with multiple plots playing simultaneously. I find this an interesting point. However, as a multitasker who was just watching TV on my computer while playing hearts I have to disagree. I found the experience of watching several different “screens” in Time Code very difficult to follow visually and hard to stay engaged with. I multitask when I am not fully attentive, when I don’t really care, but when I watch a movie I usually want to focus because I don’t want to miss anything. While watching the multiple threads of Time Code I was unable to focus, I felt constantly in a “state of distraction” as Walter Benjamin put it, and it was not a good feeling. I was not able to fully attend to each of the four screens and this was quite frustrating. Friedberg compares the multiple screens in film with the multiple windows that can be opened on a computer; however there is at least one fundamental difference. On a computer, you can pause a video or minimize a window when you wish to focus on something else, a luxury you do not have in a multiscreen film. I would like to explore the concepts of multiples and multitasking in film and other media more in section. Why is it so exciting to Friedberg? What does it mean for the future, for the ability to focus, for education, for getting work done? How could it actually be a problem?

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