01 June 2008

The Internet and Internet Video: 2 Appreciations

Y'know, for all of the junk, or at least just plain mediocrity, that I sometimes see here in my little corner of the 'Net, one of its features that I just plain love to death, especially after having got a cable connection last year, is videos, and especially YouTube and similar video-sharing services.

For me, this has been a chance to see and down-load(via RealPlayer 11)videos of films by film-makers like Peter Watkins, Nagisa Oshima, Jiri Trinka, Shuji Terayama, and many others, whether famous or obscure, whose works I'd only read about back in my teens and twenties, or had never heard of nor seen at all.

It's not that there aren't foreign and independently-made American films in Vegas. Some theatres show them, and there are some groups here(NOTBAD being the main one of which I can currently think)that have once-weekly free showings of such flicks.

But, being as generally house- and neighbourhood-bound as I currently am, I don't often go to such places.

I know I need to get out more, but that's a subject for another day.

Thanks to the technology of Internet video, I can see, whether whole or in excerpts, art films, or any other type of film for which I care to see, on-line, at my leisure, as well as vintage tv programme episodes, documentaries, and short and feature films from just about every period of film history, and I love it.

Mind you, there's a lot of junk out there, to be sure, and not every film or video I see on-line is a masterpiece of High Art, nor should they be.

But, that's par for the course in just about every type of human endeavour, I think.

There's a small number of truly great pieces of product, slightly larger numbers of very good or at least satisfactory ones, a much larger number of mediocre products, and, of course, a pretty larger amount of just plain awful material that are produced by human minds and hands every day of the year, and that goes for film and video in all periods of their short histories as it does for any other kind of human enterprise.

Nonetheless, it is the ACCESS to film, video, sound and other sorts of media, as well as to sites dealing in information of all sorts on various topics that I prize the most.

Just knowing that I can, by entering in a name or topic into a search engine, pressing the Enter key, and, 3 quarters of a second or so later, get back a variety of results to my query, in my own home, is just a marvel to me.

Yes, I can take it for granted, as does just about everyone who has regular access to it.

But, there are times, like now, when I realise just how powerful both the technology and institutions of the Internet and the World Web Web are, and what joys I have in being able to wander around them, peeking here and snooping there, at sites that strike my fancy.

The 'Net, and my computer in general, have become a major, if not the sole, means of self-expression for me, and whenever deprived of them, as I was at various points during the past 7 months, I can make do with whatever available media I've at hand, but it isn't the same.

Quite a statement coming from a former computer-phobe like myself.

But, that was before I discovered the Internet 11 years ago.

Now, it is a very important part of my life, and I keenly appreciate it.

Anyhow, that's it for now.

Be seeing you.

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