Film Club has been collectively flicking through our respective record collections this week as we get ready to screen Sound it Out (Finlay 2011) as part of Tramlines. A film made possible because of crowd funding, a collective way of raising money in a connected age, about a shop selling records, an analogue invention of the twentieth century.
I am not the first to write about how warm vinyl sounds, how I enjoy gently lowering a needle onto a record, about pouring over sleeve notes on the bus on the way home when I was younger, or searching for secret messages scratched into spaces between the run out groove. I could get all technical on you here, about sine waves and digital information built up from ones and zeroes (but I don’t know enough about it).Just like all my friends, I have got my fair share of CDs, though the claim when they first came out that you could eat your dinner off them never really held up as anyone tortured by digital glitching when the things get scratched knows too well. And now, music is, literally, weightless, shared as an MP3 in a Google cloud, or streamed from a subscriber website. All music available all the time everywhere. No arguments in the twenty first century, with your lover, anymore, about who gets what when you split up.
Film too has moved from analogue formats, 16mm, 35mm, super 8 and video tape to HD, blue ray and you tube. In many ways these are exciting times. Any one with a camera phone can make a film and upload it in minutes. We can no longer hide from the evil that is done in the world, just check out some of the recent imagery from Syria, though it makes you wonder when the world seems to be more interested in cats on skateboards.
Film club couldn’t happen without digital technology. It means we can pack up stuff in a shopping bag and roll up almost anywhere and put on a screening. Yet we are all in love with the romance of gong to the flicks, in the years before DVDs were on sale in Tescos, and cinema going was part of the community, and cinemas were in every part of town. As much as we like watching film on TV, we love more the opportunity to come together, to share, talk, agree, disagree, be part of something.
So if you haven’t already, why not join us. Ok, we are not super slick like the multiplexes, but we intend to stick around and we’d love for you to come with us.