Unspooling

Posted by on April 2, 2014

My parents bought a movie theater when I was in second grade and just recently sold it.  It was one-screen, one-movie-a-week, no-movie-on-Wednesday-or-Thursday. So, a pretty small operation, especially compared to the 15-plexes that are common in urban and suburban areas. We were in an extremely rural, sparsely populated area. “Going to the Show” was for sure what people did (probably still do) on Saturday night.

One of the coolest things my parents did for me in high school was to make a preview-watching party for my senior class. My dad had saved years worth of previews (or trailers) in the back room. He spiced them together and made at least 2 hours of “movie.” We invited everyone (the whole class, that’s about 50 people; see rural, sparsely populated area above) to come to the theater the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

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It was great. We ate popcorn and watched trailers and even as self-obsessed teenagers we knew this was a pretty special thing that we go to do.

After the party, when most everyone had gone home, dad took the reels of film and unwound them from a second story window into the auditorium below. It was kind of a second show for my family and best friend. The film landed in giant spirals and loops all over the floor.

h9hijb2abmwenepoxlldThese photos are from a piece called “Falling Records” by Japanese artist Ei Wada. It was displayed last year at the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival.

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tape-4The piece is nostalgic and beautiful – the tape falls in such a way that is intrinsically lovely.

tape-2And then the players rewind and it all happens again.

 

Photos by Ars Electronica

via Spoon & Tamago

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