Monday, January 04, 2010


Aye aye On a cold wet afternoon in New York I went to the cinema. But not just any cinema. This was the AMC on 42nd Street, just off Times Square. Avatar in 3D with dual light projection. Not just the movie, but the experience.

It was a joy going to the flicks in the USofA again, complete with pantomime audience participation, so far removed from the pale UK multiplex letdown. This is cinema as event, as community. Flickering ranks of Blackberries Twitter-Facebooking through the whole thing. Cheering the good guys, applause at the end. God bless America.

This was also Cameron's Juggernaut in its natural environment - big screen, 3D, cheering vets. And it worked. Yet, in spite of the attempted technical fix, cinema in the USA is clearly worried. It knows that underwater 3D with Eskimo music is not going to save it. And so diversification is the order of the day. Screenings of live events - concerts, sport, art. Corporate days. You got money to spend? Come on in. Want an experience you could never have on your personal screen? We're here for you. New York, New York. It's a Blackberry town.

There's no direct parallel between education and the entertainment industry. But it's always useful to see what the opposition is up to.

Update: Is Avatar racist? Nah. Speciesist, possibly.