Amerika

Small Revolts Against Modernity: Slow TV

From the oddities-of-culture department, “slow TV”:

It began with the broadcast of a train journey from the coastal city of Bergen to the capital, Oslo. The formula was simple: put a few cameras on a train and watch the scenery go by — for seven hours.

…About a quarter of all Norwegians tuned in to watch some part of that train trip.

…”It’s important that it’s an unbroken timeline, that you don’t take away anything,” said Hellum. “It’s all the boring stuff in there, all the exciting things in there, so you as a viewer has to find out what’s boring and what’s interesting.”

One has to ponder on this for some time to realize that what is occurring here is a revolt against narrative. People do not want a managed experience, where a story is told through fake characters and slowly shapes the viewer toward a conclusion. They want something more like real life, where they discover the good bits for themselves, presumably while doing something else at the same time.

Pundits tell us that television and movies have never been better, which is presumably why they are revisiting old ideas in new combinations. But even more, it may be that people are tired of the modern method of inserting control instructions in every form of public media, and want to discover life outside what others people want us to think.

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