Last night, Ondi Timoner’s witty and fast-moving We Live in Public closed New Directors/New Films, appropriately placing an exclamation point on the provocative festival of new work. Telling the history of the Internet at a speed that suits the information age, the film zeros in on a critical moment in the underground history of pre-millennial New York when a large group of artists, technologist and other assorted creative types got together to live in an underground bunker for twenty days under constant video surveillance.
Was it a cult? A social experiment? An art project? A premonition of a life lived on Facebook? Though it seemed that no one involved in the original event could agree on the meaning of the project, all acknowledged its main architect–Josh Harris–as a visionary. And just as Timoner’s documentary left all of us in the audience questioning our own place in a brave new world of social networking, the film’s magnetic subject, Josh Harris himself, appeared in the flesh to add an extra layer of self-reflexivity to the proceedings (which were already being webcast and most likely being Twittered about!).With an audience filled with some of the film’s subjects, and cameras roving everywhere, it was hard not to think that all of us were embodying Harris’s correction of Andy Warhol: in an Internet future, we’ll all be famous for fifteen minutes a day.
It really has been a whirlwind of a festival. When I first came up the idea of turning the filmlinc blog over to a raft of New Voices, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would anyone actually take me up on the offer? And what would they come up with? Looking back now, one thing seems clear: unexpected and wonderful things happen when you engage the diverse talents of a group of creative people. That those wonderful things took the form of lots of fresh points of view, fantastic interviews with the likes of Tatia Rosenthal, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Alexis Dos Santos, Adam Leon and Jack Pettibone Riccobono and Armond White, great photography and even a shark attack (press play above) was one of the delights of this experiment. So I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to the correspondents who really went above and beyond to provide daily coverage of this festival: Nick Feitel, Matt Griffin, Tom Treanor, Morgan Green, Jessica Loudis, Michael Masarof, Sam Song, Eric Yue, Melanie Shaw, Jay Felty, Nick McCarthy, Aily Nash, Tim Young, Kazu Wantanabe, Brandon Harris, Christian Del Moral and Wayne Titus.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to our New Directors/New Films co-presenter, The Museum of Modern Art. Not only do they have a terrific film exhibition program of their own, and shows specifically geared toward film-lovers, they also do a terrific job of cultivating an online community.
Finally, I’d like to thank our online community: our Fans on Facebook, those who Twitter with us, and of course, readers of the filmlinc blog. It is thanks to your attention that March was our most successful month yet in our relatively brief existence. We are extremely grateful for your interest and we will always be looking for ways to better bring the Film Society experience to you and to engage you in a vital conversation about films and filmmaking.