documentary


When the cannons of the World War I fell silent and the world started to wake up from the global nightmare in which many millions of soldiers and civilians were killed, and even more left crippled physically or psychologically, people started to refer to the half of century that preceded the war as ‘La Belle Epoque’. It was one of the longest period in history with no major conflicts in Europe (although facing terrorism mostly of the anarchist brand, as well as colonialist wars in other areas of the world) and it was a period of economic expansion and industrial creativity that improves the lives of many. The conflicts that would lead to the great conflagrations, brutal revolutions, and totalitarian dictatorships of the 20th century were slowly accumulating in silence, while Europe, North America and Australia saw a raise in the level and quality of life, as well as a flourishing of arts and entertainment. Revolutions took place in art as well, and one of the most visible happened in painting, with the emergence of Impressionism and the currents that rapidly followed it. France and Paris became the epicenter of modern art. The status of women also slowly started to change, but equality and full emancipation were still far away, and many women were at best forced to use their charms to succeed in the society, or in worse cases fell in sexual slavery just to survive. Many of the major painters (but also writers and artists of other skills) took inspiration and some of them lived in the media of the prostitutes and courtesans.

 

source http://dvdtator.canalblog.com/archives/2016/01/25/33256271.html

source http://dvdtator.canalblog.com/archives/2016/01/25/33256271.html

 

The interest about these aspects of the history of art and society of ‘La Belle Epoque’ raised in the last few years with a major exhibition ‘Splendeurs et misères, images de la prostitution 1850 – 1910‘ organized by Musee d’Orsay. The documentary ‘Cocottes et courtisanes dans l’oeil des peintres‘ directed by was a companion of the exhibition, and while the art works that were gathered for a few months were dispersed back to their museums or collectors, the film stays by itself as a serious investigation as well as beautiful gathering of art images related to the subject. Both commentary and visuals are very good. We are presented with a very clear and synthetic description of the historical background of the French and European society in the second half of the 19th century and the pre-war years at the start of the 20th century. The visual documentation is exquisite, and no major artists or piece of work is missing, from Manet’s ‘Olympia’, passing through the rich gathering of works by Toulouse-Lautrec or Degas, and until Picasso’s ‘Demoiselles d’Avignon’. Major milestones of Impressionism and  Cubism relate maybe unexpectedly via the theme, characters and social messages. Photographs and filmed sequences from the closed houses and easy entertainment areas of Paris add to the documentation.

 

(video source srgsrsrh shhh)

 

‘Cocottes et courtisanes dans l’oeil des peintres’ is art documentary at its best. It is also now available on youTube at the address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejofNlvlveo&t=82s. Recommended viewing for all art and history fans.

 

 

A revolution took place by the mid of the 20th century in American and world music. Jazz, which was until then music for mostly dance and mass entertainment split its ways into several distinct currents, giving birth to rock and roll, to soul, to rhythm and blues. Yes, I know this presentation is quite a simplistic view, but at that time, while other genres were taking up in entertainment dominating the hit parades, radio programs and TV shows, jazz itself evolved to a much more sophisticated form of expression. A bunch of post-WWII jazz musicians changed and developed the sound of jazz making and blew up its boundaries. Among them, together with Charlie Parker and Miles Davies, one of the most important was John Coltrane. “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary” is dedicated to his life, music and legacy. These exceptional artists toured the world and made of jazz a universal art and one of the greatest contributions of America to the culture of the world.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4287434/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4287434/

 

The documentary written and directed by is built on a pattern used by many musical documentary films. It follows closely the life and biography of the artists, uses images filmed and recorded in concerts to illustrate his music, gathers testimonies from family, from jazz fans and experts, from the artists who worked with Coltrane and who came later and were influenced by him. Family members tell about the man he was (moving testimonies by his two step-daughters) and his personal life not avoiding the crisis related to drugs and faith. Musicians who played with him or who came after him talk about his music, and this was the part I valued most (including people like , , , , ). An interesting segments speaks about his tour to Japan (his last) and the special relationship he had with this country. Coltrane seems to not have left any filmed interview, or the makers of this film did not have access to it, but he left quite a lot of memorable quotes and written stories about his life and music, which are read by . The actor (who does not appear in the film) bears actually an amazing physical resemblance with Coltrane, so if there ever (or soon) will be a feature film about him, he is the best candidate for the lead role. It is music however that speaks best, and if you have the chance to watch this film and listen to the soundtrack in a cinema with good audio conditions, it will be a win. It’s not a ground-shaking documentary film, but it’s a complete and respectful homage to one of the greatest musicians in history, a man who in a rather short life and career changed the course of music taking it into new territories.

The full film (which I have seen yesterday at the EPOS art films festival in Tel Aviv) is available on youTube at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awukVXiymTE

(video source Repórter Lata)

 

 

 

 

 

Art defies logic. Market forces defy logic. The combination of art and market which is the market of art cannot but defy logic. This may be one of the reasons controversial works of art like the ones created by contemporary artists like Damian Hirst, Jeff Koons or Maurizio Cattelan reach prices that could cover the cultural budget of half of the countries in the United Nations, while their quality or good taste is very much open for discussion for many other artists and experts, and refuse to resonate with scores of amateurs of art, more or less connoisseurs. This film is about Maurizio Cattelan, one of the greatest provocateurs in the history of art. I personally like many of the things that he made, but there are quite a bunch of friends whose opinions I respect and who consider him an impostor, and I can understand why other people may be offended by images of the pope struck by a meteorite, or of Hitler kneeling in penitence. What cannot be denied is that Cattelan is a master of image building, and even if conceptual art is not my cup of tea, I cannot deny success, measured in fame and dollars his works earn in public art sales.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5509780/mediaviewer/rm166277376

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5509780/mediaviewer/rm166277376

 

One needs to be cautious with a documentary like “Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back” directed by . Apparently, it’s a bio-artistic documentary, the kind of these projected in museums as a supporting material for a major retrospective of an artist. It describes the biography of the artist, using a combination of testimonies and cartoons in the classical Disney style. It features the sister of the artist, his ex and current girlfriends, art collectors and critics who (at least some of them) happen to be his friends, gallery owners and experts who work for the Cattelan Archives. It talks about the raise of a young artist of humble origins, the challenges in building his career and public image, his works, their price in the market, whether their value comes close or has any relationship with the price. The artist himself talks – sometimes enigmatically – about his art. Controversies that were each milestones in his career are mentioned, although none of his sharp critics, not to speak about detractors, is offered screen time. The film ends with the announcement of his ‘end of career’ which happened in 2011.

 

(video source Dogwoof)

 

But then, let us pay more attention. Some of his friends and art experts seem to read texts prepared in advance and to play their own role. Cattelan himself in the film is … not Maurizio Cattelan, but his friend Massimiliano Gioni playing (very credibly) the artist’s role. His ‘end of career’ in 2011 after the retrospective at Guggenheim does not seem to be final. As it is being said in the film, the goal of Cattelan’s work is not making art, but succeeding in art. So, this film, “Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back” may be another of his conceptual works of art, another stair in the pyramid he is building with his own life and art career. Art or “art”. Whatever. Or maybe just a sharp critic of the whole art system. As with many of works created by Maurizio Cattelan, you are never sure when watching this film about what you are exactly seeing.

 

Born in Costa Rica and having lived most of her life in Mexico, singer Chavela Vargas was a pioneer on many respects. Born in 1919, she became famous in the 1950s but her career was interrupted and she was forgotten two decades later to the point that many people believed her to be dead. Her comeback around the age of 70 was one of the most remarkable in the history of music, so was her presence in the public awareness, both for her music and for attitude. The film Chavela co-directed by  and with the participation of is part of a spectacular comeback of an artist whose life is still surrounded by mysteries six years after her death.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6217664

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6217664

 

Chavela Vargas was a very non-conventional woman and artist who built her career and lived much of her life in a conservative country. She sang the music of the Mexican cowboys (‘rancheras’) and dressed unconventionally. It was only very late in her life and career that she could go public as a lesbian, but her sexual orientation as well as the alcohol addiction were the principal causes of her fall of the grace of the public at the peak of her career, despite her success and popularity. Audiences simply believed that she is no longer alive, but to everybody’s surprise (including probably her own) she had the courage and power to make one of the most sensational comebacks in the history of music, enjoying again success, and becoming an international celebrity. She was older than 80 years when she made her debut in places like Carnegie Hall or Olympia, and her music was a source of inspiration for several films of .

 

(video source Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films)

 

The documentary spends quite little time dealing with her early career, focusing or her fall and comeback. It is based mostly on her own interviews and on testimonies from her friends and colleagues. There is a lot of material about her private life, less about her music. As in many musical documentaries music presented on screen (with very appropriate English translation of the lyrics) speaks best about her art, but for me, knowing close to nothing about Mexican or Latin American music of the 20th century, I found that there is too little material or none about her musical innovations and why she was different and better than most of the other musicians of her generation. It’s more a documentary about an exceptional life than about an exceptional musician.

It so happens (and maybe it was not just a coincidence) that  I have seen ‘The Dead Nation‘ (‘Tara moarta’ in Romanian) at the Haifa International Film Festival the very day that is declared in Romania as the National Holocaust Day. I saw the film in a hall where maybe one half of the viewers were survivors of the Holocaust or their immediate descendants. This very special documentary created by is part of a still open debate in Romania about the role and responsibility of its leaders and people in the Holocaust. It’s the kind of event that cannot be judged only from the perspective of the film fan, because it includes so much history, politics and emotional charge.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6855898

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6855898

 

shows again that he is a director who does not run away from controversy and who is not afraid of inventing new ways to put on screen his ideas and the messages that he considers as important. ‘The Dead Nation‘ covers the years 1936 to 1944, the darkest period in the history of Romania and in the history of the Jewish community in this country, which counted almost one million people prior to WWII. While the country fell into nationalistic dictatorship, became an ally of Nazi Germany, implemented racial laws, and deported part of its Jewish population in ghettos and forced labor camps in occupied Russia and Ukraine, it also lost part of its territory to the neighboring USSR and Hungary, with the Jews being considered and scapegoats. However, there is no direct footage on screen about what happened. Instead, the director used a collection of photographs recovered from a photo studio in a small dusty town in South Romania of the epoch. Instead of pogroms, ghettos and death trains we see on screen the peasants, soldiers, nationalist militants in their festive but also daily lives occasions. And riffles. Many, many riffles. The soundtrack is more sophisticated, composed from a combination of nationalist Romanian songs, news reels commentary, speeches of the politicians of the time alternated with reading from the daily journal of a Jewish doctor – deprived of all rights, subject to fear, abuses, persecution. The message is the one of ‘parallel lives’.

 

(video source ROLLERCOASTER PR)

 

The Dead Nation‘ lets the viewers make their own judgment, there is no off-screen comment that guides, explains, tries to make explicit points. There are no moving images, just a collection of stills pictures from the Acsinte collection of photographs. Viewers are left to judge by themselves. It belongs to a category of itself, maybe the only similar documentary that I can compare this film with is ‘s ‘Shoah‘. I can only wish that the public impact and contribution in understanding and assuming the dark history of the Holocaust will be – from the Romanian perspective – similar.

 

One of the previous films of , The Tree of Life included a long segment about the origins of the Universe. When I saw that movie it was not at all clear to me how that part was related to the rest of the story – a family saga developing around a complicated father – son relationship. Director Malick was so much in love with that part that he decided to abandon any fiction in his latest movie and focus on the cosmology story. The result is Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey which is listed as a documentary, although I have a hard time sticking it into that category either. Documentaries have as goal educating, or making statements about history or society or nature. Here we seem to be closer  to poetry or sophisticated video art. What counts eventually is not the category but the result.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1945228/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1945228/

 

The film starts with CGI images of the birth of the Universe combined with cosmic video art based on images of the most remote (thus the earliest) galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It continues with images that describe or reconstruct the birth of Earth, the appearance of water and life, the evolution of plants and animals, the cosmic events (like the asteroid that almost eradicated life on Earth and put an end to the dominance and very existence of the dinosaurs), the emergence of mankind and its evolution towards the mega-cities of today, with their human mosaic and social problems. Most of the images combine fabulous nature filming with computerized effects and they are great, the story telling is visually astounding and has its own logic. I would have loved the film to be only visuals. I would have even accepted the soundtrack although I am not great fan of the world music or Gregorian chants, not when used in New Age messaging. Unfortunately decided to add a spoken commentary and I simply could not make any sense of it. Some incantations and frightened kid questions directed to an over-present Mother (Nature? a feminine God?) were repeated over and over. To be clear, I like and I understand poetry, I respect religious feelings and texts, but the spoken commentary was nothing of these. The fact that , an actress that I deeply admired borrowed her voice to read this text, did not help, it just made me mad because I feel that her huge talent was wasted here. The result is just boring, and I surprised myself almost napping despite the beauty on screen.

 

(video source Zero Media)

 

OK. So Terrence Malick wanted hardly to make a film about the history of the Universe. A Film about Everything. The Film about Everything. Now that you made it, please, Mr. Malick , come back to making the films we loved you for, films like Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line.

At a time when peace or at least co-existence near our neighbors seems as remote as ever and when the level of confidence in the political class seems to be at a historical low, it’s quite comforting for us, Israelis, to remember the times when the Prime Minister was a national hero, a man of vision, a person of unprecedented modesty who chose to quit politics and spend the last decade of his life as a member of a kibbutz, living a simple life, engaging in manual labor, working and living together with his neighbors and comrades. True, he had his political enemies also, and he was not exempt of controversies, but controversy is a way of life for Jews in general and Israelis in particular. The opportunity for these thoughts was provided by the documentary film Ben-Gurion, Epilogue which was co-produced (among other) and broadcast by ARTE TV and the Israeli Channel 8 stations, and screened in Israel and at festivals around the world. The film is based on the editing of about one hour worth out of several hours of a filmed interview given by the former Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion in the spring of 1968, several years after retiring from politics.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5934542

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5934542

 

It is interesting to judge the portrait that is convened by this film from two points of view. One is the persona. While Ben-Gurion was a very visible public figure and a popular one in the decades before and after the making of Israel, there are less and less people alive who knew him. We are now left with written testimonies and with this kind of films. From this interview he appears as an individual of great intelligence and modesty at the same time, a man who was both aware and proud of his role in history and at the same time humbled to have been instrumental in the important events he was part of.  Then it’s the political dimension. The Ben-Gurion who talks to us from the recovered filmed interviews was not only a man of vision but also a pragmatic moderate in policies. He provides his views on controversial issues related to the attitude of the allies to the Holocaust that was happening during WWII and the reconciliation with Germany that had happened after the war, about the victory in the Six Days War and the consequences of Israel having won the war and occupied so many territories. For the Israeli audiences there are no astonishing news, the fact that Ben-Gurion would have preferred to negotiate the majority of territories for peace is known for decades, but this position is very well articulated in the film and so actual in the present we live in today.

 

(video source Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia)

 

There are no very tough questions asked, and there is an attitude of deep respect from the young journalist to the old statesman which is never left during the discussion. We still learn a lot about the man, his life, his passions, his positions on important issues, and much of these still resonate. The discovery of the film (with no sound) and of the tapes of the interview (with no image) and the way they were brought together are an interesting story by itself, and the ‘the making of …’ documentary is worth watching as well. More film material taken from newsreels and other interviews were added in order to put the exact moment the interview was given (less than one year after the 1967 victory of Israel in the Six Days War) and the personality of David Ben-Gurion in its historical context. The title of the film is a little misleading, as Ben-Gurion does not take a ‘testamentary’ approach at any point, seems to be in good physical form and had a lot of plans among which writing his memoirs. He unfortunately did not complete these and I wonder if notes of fragments are available. He lived for another five years and even gave more interviews later. This film is an important testimony of his personality and positions after retiring, but the epilogue may still wait to be written.

 

North Korea may be the most talked and the lesser known country of the planet. (it may compete with Israel for these titles but for very different reasons) It’s a closed and supervised nation which is practically disconnected from the rest of the world, and who let itself be filmed very seldom, by few people and in a well filtered manner. ‘Laibach’ is an anarchist band of metal rock from Slovenia, which had its peak moment of glory more than three decades ago when it brought its contribution to the fall of the Iron Curtain and of the Communism system and dismantling of the country that was known for much of the 20th century as Yugoslavia. The two came together in the summer of 2015 in an incredible event which can be of huge importance or can be just a footnote in history. The first concert of a Western (or at least European) rock band in North Korea. Until history decides about the importance of the event, we have this documentary film named Liberation Day which I have seen in the last screening of the DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival in Tel Aviv.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5847760

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5847760

 

Watching this film is a multi-layered experience. We see a door semi-open, or a crack in a wall of mis-communication or lack of communication – I think these words or some similar are being used in the film – to a closed world. But we also know that not all could be filmed, and not everything was shown to the guests. While the members of the band and the team that came with them seem to buy into much of what is being served to them, there is a lot that is not being said that needs to be taken into consideration. After all, the members of the Laibach band not only came originally from a similar political system, maybe not that extreme, but based on the same principles, but also fought against it, and contributed – with their music and public attitude – to their fall. So the question can be asked – why did they accept the censorship and the rules of engagement defined by their hosts? Were they manipulated? The answer is not simple and the ambiguous quote that opens the film describes their approach – any form of art (in their opinion) has its component of propaganda and manipulation.

(Yes, indeed, but dosing differs.)

 

(video source Dogwoof)

 

Some of the images in the film are memorable. The beginning brings together crowds on stadiums gathered for rock concerts (in the West) or for big propaganda shows (in North Korea) and suggests a parallel. The huge statues of the Korean rulers and the ceremonies of bringing flowers and bowing to the monuments are impressive, even if one may disagree with the message that is being conveyed. Some of the situations shown on screen – censorship, controlled performances with selected audiences – are familiar for somebody who lived under the Communist system.  Other look simply surrealistic. The music of Laibach and the deep voice of the soloist remember us again on the background that what is important is the art and that its message needs not be explicit. A rock band concert in North Korea is an event. This film is an event. Viewers need to take this film as an open exercise and do their own reading.

While the Bansky exhibition curated by Steve Lazarides is still open in the city, the local cinematheque screened  the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop which has the name of the artist as director in its credits. is a mystery as artist and person, and Exit Through the Gift Shop does not aim and will not disperse the secret of his identity. It adds however more light on the origins of the street art genre and develops the documentary genre towards a direction that is both unexpected and rewarding for the viewers, whatever their opinions on this phenomenon may be.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587707/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587707/

 

The basic rule of street art is that there are no rules. This film tries to follow this. The principal character starts as a video camera addict (and there is a good reason for his addiction) named Thierry Guetta who at some point discovers street art and starts filming the fringe individuals who make street art during their night escapades. He gets to know some of the most famous ones, including the secretive Bristol-based . At some point he becomes more and more involved with his subjects, he abandons his bourgeois commercial profession, and street art becomes a way of life. Crossing the border between documenting street art and becoming a street artist comes next, and by the end of the film we see Thierry Guetta having become Mr. Brainwash, a successful artist cashing well on his products, while Bansky has become the maker of the film about him.

 

(video source ENTRTNMNT)

 

The very surprising turnaround makes out of the film a strange hybrid, a documentary where the lines between authors and subjects are blown up, with characters that claim to be real but defy common logic and would risk to be considered ‘non-credible’ in a fiction film. There is also a rather deep subtext and question marks about art and its value, about where street art belongs, about fighting commercial art and becoming successful and rich by selling counter-art. It’s difficult to put it in a box, but this is the case with street art in general. More than anything however, I found this film fun to watch.

 

Cunoştiinţa mea cu filmele regizorului german Werner Herzog datează de vreo patru decenii. Cândva, în anii 70, cinematograful Magheru de pe bulevard, în apropiere de Piaţa Romană devenise ‘cinematograf de artă’. Cred că a fost chiar şi cinematecă pentru o anumită perioadă. Acolo, într-una din rarele ferestre prin care se mai strecura câte o rază de cultură în perioada îngheţului ideologic inaugurat în 1971 de in-faimoasele Teze din Iulie, s-a organizat o ‘Săptămână a filmului din Republica Federală Germană’. Nu ştiu cum şi de de a scăpat acest eveniment filtrului cenzurii, poate a fost o ‘obligaţie’ contractuală a părţii române din sistemul de relaţii căruia în România i se spunea ‘destindere’ iar în Germania de Vest ‘Realpolitik’. Cert este că atunci, în acea săptămâna am cunoscut filmele câtorva dintre realizatorii generaţiei de cineaşti reprezentând ‘Noul Film German’ care devenise unul dintre curentele cele mai interesante ale anilor 70 ai cinematografiei internaţionale. Dintre toate filmele văzute atunci cel mai puternic m-a impresionat ‘Aguirre, spaima zeilor’ – o drama istorică plasată în perioada ‘la conquista’ – colonizarea spaniolă a Americii de sud – avându-l în rolul principal pe extraordinarul actor Klaus Kinski. Numele regizorului filmului era Werner Herzog.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm746066176

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm746066176

 

Cariera celui pe care Francois Truffaut l-a numit cândva ‘cel mai important regizor în viaţă’ a avut parte de numeroase suişuri şi coborâşuri. Face parte din generaţia lui Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, şi Wim Wenders şi după anii ’80 şi-a diversificat preocupările şi eforturile artistice şi şi-a împărţit timpul în trei direcţii principale: regia de filme de ficţiune, de operă şi de filme documentare. În domeniul operei (în care înregistrase succese remarcabile între 1986 şi 2002) nu a mai creat decât un singur spectacol în ultimii 15 ani. Filmele sale de ficţiune din ultimele decenii au fost cam toate ‘eşecuri remarcabile’ şi de public şi de critică, dar niciodată neinteresante. Criticul de film american Roger Ebert scria că până şi eşecurile lui Herzog sunt ‘spectaculoase’. Domeniul filmelor documentare pare a fi cel care i-au dat cele mai multe satisfacţii şi s-au bucurat de o primire foarte apreciativă în ultima vreme. Filmul său cel mai recent din această categorie ‘Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World’ are că temă istoria, prezentul şi viitorul Internetului. Un subiect care desigur că mi-a trezit interesul şi care ocazionează o întâlnire unică între pasiunea mea pentru cinematograf şi unul dintre realizatorii cei mai interesanţi ai industriei filmului, şi profesia (şi pasiunea) mea – Internetul. Un motiv în plus este faptul că filmul este produs (sau producţia este sponsorizată) de compania Netscout Systems, fondată în 1984 de Anil Singhal, al cărui nume apare pe generic, companie care a creat produse şi aplicaţii de măsurare a performanţei reţelelor informatice dintre care cele mai cunoscute sunt ‘sniffer’-ul şi probele de monitorizare a traficului Ethernet.

 

    sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm1819271424


sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm1819271424

 

Cele zece episoade ale filmului tratează în ordine oarecum cronologică începuturile Internetului, prezentul cu realizările şi problemele sale, şi viitorul cu oportunităţile şi riscurile lui. Primul episod deşi scurt a trezit interes şi a creat nostalgie celor care au trăit epoca începuturilor comunicaţiilor între calculatoare, sau care – ca mine – au avut ocazia să-i cunoască personal pe câţiva dintre eroii acelor vremuri. Leonard Kleinrock (în fotografia de mai sus) este unul dintre cei care a participat la prima încercare de a stabili o comunicare între calculatoarele universităţilor californiene din Los Angeles şi Stanford. Dulapul electric (de fapt un calculator cu o putere de calcul infimă faţă de orice telefon mobil astăzi, dar un vârf al tehnologiei de la sfârşitul anilor 60) care a iniţiat comunicaţia în cămăruţa care apare în film a încercat să trimită cuvântul ‘log’ pentru a se lega (a se loga) la calculatorul aflat la distanţă. Doar că primul mesaj trimis vreodată pe Internet a întâlnit şi primul ‘bug’ şi a cauzat şi primul ‘crash’, aşa încât a treia litera din cuvântul l-o-g nu a mai apărut în cealaltă parte. A rămas doar acel ‘lo’ de la începutul titlului filmului care oferă ocazia unui joc de cuvinte în limba engleză folosind expresia ‘lo and behold’ care semnifică surpriza unui eveniment pe care l-am putea numi astăzi în limbaj hi-tech şi ‘disrupting ‘.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm2688291840

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm2688291840

 

Fiecare dintre celelalte nouă segmente abordează din perspective diferite relaţia între tehnologiile informatice şi de comunicaţii şi lumea în care trăim sau lumea viitorului. Cititorii rubricii CHANGE.WORLD se vor găsi în multe dintre ele pe un teren familiar, căci majoritatea tematicilor descrise au fost abordate de-a lungul anilor în articolele mele. Există de exemplu segmente despre inteligenţa artificială şi aplicaţiile ei în transporturi inteligente, despre începuturile Web-ului şi perspectivele dezvoltării hipertextului, despre securitatea comunicării pe Internet şi insuportabila uşurinţă a atacurilor de securitate, despre legătura dintre jocurile electronice şi evoluţia programelor inteligente. Câteva alte subiecte au fost abandonate pe parcursul producţiei, de exemplu cele legate de plăţile electronice şi moneda bitcoin, deşi materialul filmat există şi poate cândva va apare şi public. Apar persoane şi personalităţi cunoscute între care Bob Kahn, Elon Musk şi Tim Berners-Lee. Şi despre ei am discutat în acest spaţiu cu diverse ocazii. Unele episoade au o tentă mai pesimistă şi discută pericolele comunicării – impresionant fiind cel în care apare o familie care deplânge publicarea fotografiilor copilului pierit într-un accident circulaţie, incident tipic lipsei de discreţie şi sensibilitate în comunicaţii atât de răspândită din păcate pe Internet. Nu toate au legătură directă cu Internetul – de exemplu fenomenul sensibilităţii faţă de undele electromagnetice este cunoscut, studiat şi tratat în diferite feluri (cel prezentat în film este doar una dintre opţiuni) dar nu este legat direct de reţeaua globală ci mai degrabă de comunicaţiile radio. Facem cunoştiinţă însă cu acest prilej cu una dintre acele comunitatati anarhiste care încearcă să trăiască în insule sociale fără legătură la reţeaua globală. Tehnica intervieverii folosită de Werner Herzog este cea a interogării din off (nu îi vedem niciodată chipul), cu întrebări puse cu calm şi precizie germană (subliniată de accentul vocii), însă care evident ghidează interlocutorii şi crează liantul şi firul raţionamentului dezvoltat în film.

 

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm2688291840

sursa imaginii http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275828/mediaviewer/rm2688291840

 

Interesul lui Werner Herzog pentru Internet şi tehnologie este de dată recentă. Până cu câţiva ani în urmă, Herzog putea fi considerat un ‘tehno-sceptic’, iar atitudinea să faţă de anumite aplicaţii internetice cum ar fi platformele sociale era net negativă. Lucrurile s-au schimbat în momentul în care a abordat acest proiect dar punctul de vedere umanist, întrebările tranşante venite din direcţii neaşteptate, o doză nedisimulată de precauţie şi chiar de pesimism în legătură cu interactia între natură umană şi tehnologie rămân trăsături distince ale acestui film care abordează altfel decât suntem obişnuiţi Internetul şi comunicaţiile în masă. Abordând tema ‘viselor’ şi prezentând combinaţia dintre Internet şi inteligenţă artificială că una dintre direcţiile cele mai promiţătoare tehnologic, dar şi dintre cele mai intrigante şi poate chiar şi periculoase dintre posibilele trasee în viitor, Herzog se plasează în avangardă tehnologică, dar interesant, nu şi cea a ficţiunii căci tema a fost abordată de scriitori ai genului science-fiction cu multe decenii în urmă, un exemplu cunoscut şi la noi fiind polonezul Stanislaw Lem şi al său ‘Solaris’. Va deveni Internetul (generalizare a entităţilor dotate cu inteligenţă artificială) complet autonom? Iar după ce se va întâmpla – problema doar de timp – care va fi diferenţa între aproape perfectele maşini gânditoare şi imperfecţii indivizi care compun omenirea? Capacitatea de a visa? Cea de a iubi? Se pot îndrăgosti şi pot visa roboţii? Dar Internetul?

 

(articolul a aparut in revista culturala Literatura de Azi – http://www.literaturadeazi.ro/ )

Next Page »