Last weekend, Tracy and I got out to see a very fun little movie by Michel Gondry, Be Kind Rewind. I'm a big fan of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (also directed by Gondry), so I had high expectations, and I was satisfied. It's an odd little movie, that at times feels both funny and lame, until you realize that part of the lameness is intentional. What the film ends up saying about art and community is near and dear to my heart. Though the film is nominally about making movies, it could just as easily be talking about what makes a small theatre group finally click with its community and audience.
It also reminded me of why the movies that I made in college were so much fun and so warmly received by the community around me (i.e. my dorm at MIT). I recently received an e-mail from a friend from college imploring me to get those old films transferred to dvd, so we could all revisit those days again. (I'm going to do it, as soon as I save up some cash.) Being reminded of those times has made me work harder to get on a team for the upcoming 48 Hour Film Project--I did find a team and we'll be shooting in early April.
Part of the movie has to do with friends at a video store trying to remake tapes that can no longer be rented. They label this as "sweding" the films. This has already taken off in the "real world" and there are a number of sites offering sweded versions of your favorite films. (It might help to watch Be Kind Rewind first, but you'll get the goofy humor anyway. Or you won't (in which case, don't bother with Be Kind Rewind). ((I guess a semi-official definition of sweding is: a neologism first coined in 'Be Kind Rewind' that describes the practice of re-creating something from scratch using commonly available, everyday materials and technology.)) It's cheap, fun art.
Here are some "sweding" sites:
I hope that something I write will be sweded by others someday.