Changing language modes

It occurs to me that the internet may be forcing film, as a language and means of communication, to change. People now often capture short film clips on their iPhones and post them on social media sites like Facebook as they would sentences of text. New technologies, it seems, have helped film evolve from an art form reserved for the wealthy and elite into an everyday means of expression. As I touched upon here a few weeks ago, expression in both writing and film is becoming shorter and more direct. Look at Twitter as a prime example: where once we took time to get our thoughts and feelings across over several paragraphs, we now use 120 characters or less. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is a new fourth form of writing, alongside prose, script and verse; one which incorporates hypertext. To take that a step further, I think a similar thing is happening with the moving image: where once creating film was the domain of the wealthy elite, anyone with an iPhone can do it these days. That has brought about the emergence of a new form of film, shorter, more immediate, and perhaps not always quite as refined as the things we see coming out of the big studios. Snippets of film can now be captured more freely than ever before, then posted online, bringing about a new type of filmic expression. Could it thus be argued that we are seeing the rise of a new [i]mode[/i] of film online; one with the immediacy of Twitter, and – dare I say – the refinement of a moody adolescent’s facebook status update? This new mode would sit alongside the other manifestations of the filmic art, ie feature films, documentaries and television (the theorist Christian Metz called them ‘dialects’), but has a fresher, more direct and less refined feel to it.

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