One advantage of living, well not exactly off the grid, but well out of the lava-flow of change usually associated with modern “civilized” parts of the country is that visiting said civilization is always replete with surprise. Things change, and years later, we discover what has already become mundane technology to city folk. I can think of two such visual surprises from our recent Mobile trip.
To wile away a few hours while Ann was touring her high school with fifty of her classmates, I found a reasonably close super-multi-megaplex moviehouse to see the newest James Bond movie, Casino Royale. I don’t guess I’ve seen three movies in a theater in the last ten years. (Finding Nemo: I took my mom, who sees even fewer than I do, and remember being automatically being given the SENIOR discount. Reality check!)
So, cinematography has come a long way since the days of reel to reel. This was probably the first totally digital movie I’ve ever seen. And to be honest, while I appreciated the “improvements” I sort of missed the tickticktick from the projection room, the bright shifting beam of light that danced overhead to the beat of the hero’s movements, the little lines-and-spots artifacts of wear and tear that appeared subliminally as the frames of celluloid zipped by. But that’s just my nostalgia talking. For purposes of visual clarity, the new technology to this country bumpkin seemed quite impressive. And the movie was pretty good, too.
The other visual memory was the outdoor “billboards” and other signs that were either direct projection or some pretty sophisticated LCD technology, replacing paper, tubes and translucent backlit panels. Said billboards may rotate through a half dozen different “scenes” as the gawking backwoods boy stood slackjawwed and amazed. Even in full sunlight, the colors were saturated, text clearly visible, irresistably pulling the consumer’s eye to motion, color and sharp edges. However, the prospect of having every sign in a shopping-mall-sea of them become its own movie screen (it’s just a matter of time) makes me happy to live on Goose Creek, where our only full-motion billboard is the sky. Clouds now showing, sunset at 6.