I’ve been watching a bunch of old movies. Like silent 1920’s films. It’s uncanny how much communication goes on sans words. A look, an eyebrow raise, a sneer, a flit of the hip.
I was one of those old Gen X fogeys thinking that perhaps in our modern day real-time, always on, tweet/snap/meerkat world we are losing something. When I sat next to a guy making gifs at my local café last week – It occurred to me that we’re actually following the same format from days of old. He was taking snippets of this week’s VEEP and making them into quick glances, momentary moving images with a quote that could basically tell you precisely what is going on in that scene and episode in 10 seconds.
Ive spent the last couple of years feeling sorry for millennials and post millennials (teens and twenty somethings). Fearing they lack a sense of story, that shortened content and miniscule attention spans diminish the bliss of willing suspension of disbelief and imagination.
I have been wrong. There IS still story. There are still those uncanny momentary story lines that express the full emotion in a flash…just like Louise Brooks or Charlie Chaplin or any number of passionate storytellers did in very simple, very powerful ways in the past. Not only that but now WE the everyday folks with a mobile device in our pockets (or on our wrists) can make our own stories, explore our own creativity and put it out easily in the ether!
Whether it’s the nickelodeon of days past or a fast fading snapchat video – the emotion, meaning and power is not lost on this newest media consuming generation (as much as I hate to admit it).
Here’s a little avant garde 1920’s classic in celebration of the old and the new: