Posted tagged ‘We Live in Public’

On New Voices, Life in Public, and shark attacks…New Directors/New Films wrap up

April 6, 2009

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.

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Josh Harris and Ondi Timoner, photo by Godlis

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.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I’d like to thank our wonderful photographers, Susan Sermoneta and David Godlis for shots that really bring our events to life.

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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.

-Amanda McCormick

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Last chance…Twitter for chance to win tickets to ND/NF Closing Night + party!

April 3, 2009

picture-20picture-191picture-18picture-17picture-16There’s still time to get your entry in…Twitter how you live in public to @filmlinc using the hashtag #ndnf by 5PM tonight and you might win tickets to Closing Night film We Live in Public and afterparty for you and a guest!

ND/NF: How do YOU live in public? Tell us and win tickets to Closing Night and party!

April 1, 2009

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“It’s amazing how much of our lives we share online. YouTube, Twitter, MySpace updated from your iPhone to represent your iLife as you send regular status-updates/tweets/voice-or-video recordings of your current physical/emotional/technological situation–it almost makes blogging seem hopelessly archaic. But it’s this obsession with our rapid technological melding that informs We Live in Public, a documentary by Ondi Timoner,” writes Nick Feitel in his review of New Directors/New Films Closing Night selection.

It’s as true for people as it is for institutions. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center “live in public” by having active presences on Facebook, Twitter (@museummodernart and @filmlinc), YouTube, and Flickr. Further, MoMA lives in public by creating a community-focused website that allows visitors to create their own collections. The Film Society lives in public  by inviting a talented group of New Voices to take over our blog.

But we want to know how you live in public on popular social networking sites. Do you use LinkedIn to find new jobs? Twitter to make new friends? Facebook to share the most intimate details of your life?

Tell us and win a pair of tickets to see the highly anticipated New Directors/New Films Closing Night film, We Live in Public, plus passes to the exclusive afterparty!

To play, use Twitter to Tweet your answer (“I live in public by…”) to @filmlinc. Please include the hashtag #ndnf. See example below:

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Winner will be chosen at random at 5PM EST, Friday, April 3rd. Winner must be able to attend the Closing Night screening and afterparty on Sunday evening, April 5th at the Museum of Modern Art.

Comments are closed. Please participate using Twitter.

ND/NF Closing Night We Live in Public: Everyone is famous now (like it or not)

April 1, 2009

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It’s amazing how much of our lives we share online. YouTube, Twitter, MySpace updated from your iPhone to represent your iLife as you send regular status-updates/tweets/voice-or-video recordings of your current physical/emotional/technological situation–it almost makes blogging seem hopelessly archaic. But it’s this obsession with our rapid technological melding that informs We Live in Public, a documentary by Ondi Timoner.

Ostensibly, the film follows a “dot-com-kid,” Josh Harris, through his meteoric rise and fall through the dot-com boom/bust of the late 90s and, seen through one prism, We Live in Public could be seen as a sort of bio-pic. But really what we are seeing is beyond any one person, even one as fascinating as Harris. For as Josh forgoes the “second cars and second houses” of his millionaire buddies, he instead invests in alternative-art parties and cult-like experiments using human “rats.”

His projects involve trapping people in a pod-like “hotel” where they sleep, eat, fight and screw with impunity in front of thousands of cameras watching their every move. He’s so interested in this, in fact, that when his first try is busted (by the Giuliani administration), he turns the camera on himself. The result in both cases is relative disaster. After a short period of time, a televised life becomes one of exaggerated drama, performance, where people are alienated from themselves and others. Eventually, even Josh’s own ties with reality, which were tenuous at best, are severed as well.

This would all seem like a morality tale, except that the future for Josh Harris is now and the bulk of the film takes place before anyone even knew what “MySpace” was. Instead, at it’s best, We Live in Public plays like Shakespeare; it gives us a tragic figure to illuminate the folly in our own lives. For if we can intuit from the film that a world where we are all in the public eye is one doomed to failure, then we must wonder what sort of world exactly we live in now.

-Nicholas Feitel, ND/NF New Voice

Students! See 5 New Directors films for only $35!

March 11, 2009

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Checking out the freshest new faces in indie and world cinema just got a little easier on the wallet. This year, for the first time ever, MoMA and The Film Society are offering a special student pass: 5 films in our New Directors/New Films series for only $35!

Use it to sample the range of this year’s offerings: everything from the Native American road movie Barking Water to an irreverent documentary that traces an early Internet pioneer, We Live in Public. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see this year’s Raising Victor Vargas, Dig! or Muderball–all of those films, and a lot of other notables, appeared at past New Directors/New Films.

To pick up a student pass, please bring your valid student I.D. to the box office of The Museum of Modern Art or The Film Society of Lincoln Center beginning this Friday, March 13th.