Filed under: Feature | Tags: Android, CES, Facebook, GAMING, Golden Globes, Harvey Weinstein, iPhone 4S, Mashable, MG Seigler, Soul!, Spotify, TechCrunch, TED, The Artist, Turntable, Ultrabook
THIS WEEK: THE ARTIST DIGESTED & CES ROUND-UP
Happy Martin Luther King Day!
Last night, the Golden Globes descended upon Hollywood. The critics’ acclaim and 3 Golden Globes for the silent film, The Artist, got me thinking about a general trend in our culture at large, something I spoke about last week as well. If you’ve seen The Artist, then I’m sure you were also struck by the sheer simplicity of the film. Make no mistake about it, I’m not saying I liked it, just that it filters to a true simplicity not seen with most other films. Love, greed, empathy, pain, these were the simple messages evoked in the movie. While watching the film, my friend commented that perhaps she was not intellectual enough to understand the acclaim driving reviews. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think the passion around this film is simply that we are overwhelmed with entertainment and messaging.
Recently, I watched a variety show from the 70’s called Soul! and was struck by the sheer number of lengthy pauses in which the silence was deafening to my modern ears. In my former 5 years as a radio DJ, I would periodically have nightmares in which I was sitting in front of a blinking sound board paralyzed with dead air blaring from the studio speakers. In the modern era, sometimes watching Gossip Girl can literally make me feel like I’m in a dance club with a strobe light. The transition between scenes is on warp speed as our collective attention span has constricted. In some ways, we’ve acclimated to become faster human engines of efficiency. In other ways, we’ve become unaccustomed to the phrase, “stopping to smell the roses.” Back to The Artist. I think the insight into this film is not that it is good or well-acted in fact. I think Harvey Weinstein, the man who purchased the first silent film in over 70 years, is simply an innovator, one who sees what we all want before we want it. We all have been yearning for the simpler life, but without someone to bring this to us in entertainment form, we did not realize it. So Harvey Weinstein, I say well done. I didn’t like The Artist, but I understand it’s inherent value and for that the Golden Globe wins seem warranted. I can’t say the same for George Clooney I’m afraid.
On to the digitalverse. This week, the largest consumer electronics show wrapped up in Vegas. As I said last week, I am not a fan as usually the show produces a compendium of crap rather than one true innovation. This assumption was proved correct. Can’t say I told sold…oh wait, I can. That said, here’s a bit of a round-up from Mashable and a note on how the word ‘ultra-book’ is nothing more than a marketing campaign from Intel. The one highlight for me is really the focus on creating ecosystems rather than attempting to force consumers to purchase new gadgets that they don’t need. In other news, the iPhone 4S helped close Apple’s gap on the Android, especially interesting to note given the number of devices running Android. On the heels of that data, a very interesting post from MG Seigler (formerly of Techcrunch) emerged on why the writer despises Android. You’ll take note of the fact that it has less to due with Apple’s user interface and more on Google’s broken promise to make the consumers’ needs most important.
In other news, Facebook launched a “Listen With” feature which the community at large immediately compared to Turntable. To contradict that theory, I think Facebook discovered a more interesting insight which is that the mass audience does not want to do the work of playing DJ all day on Turntable. They simply just want to know what their friends are listening to. Hey Facebook, I’m still not turning on my listening data in Spotify. A girl has her secrets and you’re not getting all of mine. Nice try though… In bigger Facebook news, Facebook’s IPO is rumored to be hitting late May. And finally, TED returns to Long Beach, CA at the end of February.
Some more Cool Sh-t:
From Gaming to Escape our Real Lives to Gamifying Reality