LIOR ZALMANSON 311.
(photo credit: Jezelle Habar)
It is no secret that our lives and our world have dramatically changed since the
Internet became such a powerful vehicle of communication, and provider of
information. These days the Internet is also increasingly being used as a source
of entertainment, with millions of web surfers around the world watching whole
movies from a wide range of sites.
This Wednesday sees the start of the
four-day Print Screen event at the Holon Cinematheque which will take a long
hard look at how the digital revolution is impacting on the film industry. The
program includes movie screenings, lectures and a conference, which will be held
in conjunction with the Institute of Internet Research of Tel Aviv
The idea behind Print Screen is to take an in-depth look at
how cinema is faring in the digital era, by gaining some insight through the
thoughts of experts in the field, and by viewing feature films and documentaries
which demonstrate the knock on changes that have taken place in almost all areas
of our lives.
“We are bringing movies that which analyze or reflect the
era, and we will look at how the Internet is changing the viewing experience,”
explains 27 year old event organizer Lior Zalmanson who also heads the Institute
of Internet Research.
“There will also be a panel discussion on
interactivity, and one on the age of participation, and we will also screen Us
Now which, I think, is very enlightening about this area.”
Us Now is a
documentary film about how channels of Internetbased communication enables
people to collaborate in areas that are relevant to their everyday lives,
without involving the authorities, and how this helps to generate a sense of
community and, possibly, eventually leads to greater transparency. This, we are
told, can have a profound effect on the way governments operate and can empower
the public. The screening will be preceded by a panel discussion with several
top professionals, including Prof Niv Ahituv, academic director of the Institute
of Internet Research, Dr. Carmel Weissman from the Tel Aviv University’s
Department of Communication and Maya Valenstein from the university’s Department
Zalmanson says the seed for this week’s event was sown when
he was very young.
“When I was 12 years old I went to a festival about
computer films at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. They showed Jumping Jack Flash
(1986 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg) which tried to show people what a PC is
capable of doing, and looked at computer phobia.”
15 years later,
Zalmanson feels it is high time the Establishment took a look at the
“I noticed that no cultural institution has related to the way the
Internet is used today. I thought it could be interesting to take a closer look
at the way digital communication affects our lives and the movie
ONE OF the most fascinating aspects of Internet-based
communication is its double-edged sword property of alienating people, through
reliance of impersonal electronic communication, and its continually evolving
ability to connect people and create virtual communities.
The latter, as
shown in Us Now
, is gathering momentum and is increasingly translating into real
face-to-face dynamics between people who may not otherwise have known of each
other’s existence, let alone actually exchange ideas. Print Screen also
addresses this, as well as the imposition of boundaries and ensuring that
Internet use does not take over our lives.
“More and more ultra-orthodox
Jews now use the Internet and, of course, control comes into that very
strongly,” says Zalmanson.
“Naturally you have to be cautious about
misuse but the Internet can also serve the haredi community, by conveying
information and helping people who feel isolated. There are already quite a few
haredi forums on the web, including Qs and As with rabbis. Of course, anonymity
can be bad, but it can also give people the freedom to share things they might
The Print Screen program also includes a session
called You Tube Killed the Video Star – a play on the title of the 1979 Buggles
hit song, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” about the encroaching marketing power
of video clips. That all seems light years ago now.
Other areas that will
be addressed over the four days include social networking, Internet addiction,
cyber sex and virtual fantasy worlds.
While the over-50s did not grow up
in a world of PCs and, presumably, are less likely to become totally enveloped
in an Internet-based existence, at the end of the day, Zalmanson has a positive
take on the thin dividing line between tangible and ephemeral reality.
don’t think young people will lose their connection with reality. I am
optimistic about this. The Internet offers many clear advantages but it still
does not, and cannot, replace face to face dynamics.”For more info:
www.cinemaholon.org.il or 03-5021552