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Perfectly Random: Channel Surfing In The Digital Age…

NetFlix have arrived in Ireland. Minor complaints about their selection of films aside, it’s time to rejoice as a film fan. Living here in Ireland, it can’t help but feel like we’re a bit behind the times when it comes to cinema. After all, our release schedule tends to lag behind that of our American cousins, with The Muppets only arriving on our shores next month. Still, as excited as I am at the prospect of having an entire universe of film and television at my very command, I can’t help but feel a slight sense of trepidation going forward. I know that this isn’t the end of the digital era of television, but it will undoubtedly affect the way I consume my films. And, while I’ll laud the amount of choice at my fingertips, I reckon I’ll miss the delightful randomness of channel-hopping in the digital age.

Getting on board with new media models...

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Telling Vision: The Digital Age and Freedom…

We’ve been digital now for about five years. I have to admit, as much as I might have admired the scavenger sensibility that standard ten-channel Irish television might have taught me, I find it hard to imagine what it must have been like. It’s like the way I can’t imagine a world without easy-to-carry mobile phones, even though I lived in it for quite a while, or I can’t remember what the world was like without access to the information super-highway (though I do remember when we used to use dial-up internet… oh the pain). Digital television is a wonderful invention, and one that I truly treasure. It’s been heard so often that it’s become something of a truism to remark that we get 999 channels, but there’s never anything to watch… but I think that people who feel like that simply aren’t trying hard enough.

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Secret Shame: Classic Films We Haven’t Seen…

One of the things about having a blog is the fact it takes a significant amount of self-confidence to publish. I mean, even if you’re just doing it for own sake, it still takes a great deal of faith to put something out there for others to see and read. To be honest, I’m not sure I properly consider myself a “critic” and certainly not an “expert”, at least not in a sense that requires big inverted commas. I don’t like to think that I make statements of cinema, and I hope (perhaps with a hint of arrogance) that I might contribute in some way to some discussion about cinema somewhere. Still, I’m always a little bit embarrassed at all the great films I haven’t seen. I feel like it diminishes me in some way, not even as a blogger or any nonsense like that, but as a film fan.

Getting in deep with my classic movies...

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Bah Humbug! Are We Past the Point Where Technical Wizardry Can Amaze?

Hmm… I bet Robert Zemickas was expecting a somewhat bigger reaction for the release of the first trailer for his version of A Christmas Carol (aka Jim Carrey plays almost everyone), the follow-up to The Polar Express (aka Tom Hanks plays everyone), than the collective ‘meh’ that it received. I’ve watched the trailer and it looks technically magnificent (and I’m sure it’ll be even more technically impressive in 3D) – but why should I care? If I’m going to put on a pair of glasses and look at something beautiful until it give me a mild headache, shouldn’t I at least be looking at something interesting and intriguing of itself? Are we past the point where technical wonders alone are enough to lure the geeks out in droves?

Here's hoping Santa can bring Zemickis a 150% return on his investment...

Here's hoping Santa can bring Zemickis a 150% return on his investment...

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