Monday, October 21, 2013

Dancers and a Gramophone

A scene for the film, with dancers (the wonderful Momojiri Girls, and a friend) and a gramophone, shot at the charming Jalopy Theater, in Brooklyn.

A droll demonstration of the physical nature of the record -- the drowsy gramophone operator drifts off to sleep, the the spring winds down, the music slows, the dancers slow down too, until the music stops completely, and the dancers are frozen in place.  The gramophonist awakes, and then, with a change in record, some cine-magic occurs (thanks to an inadvertent selection of some hot jazz).

* * *

But I do wonder about how a younger generation, growing up in a digital world, relate to the references to the workings of archaic analog technology?  Just think of the sound heard over the telephone receiver of the clicks of dialing a rotary phone.  For one generation, a familiar memory of a commonplace occurrence, for another it's something only experienced as a sound effect in a period movie.  Even among the record collectors I've interviewed there are those who were young enough at the time remember the last days of the 78 -- just as 45s and LPs where being introduced.  And others, who came along later, growing up in the age of the LP record and the cassette tape.  To listen to the 78 record was not to re-encounter a form of technology from early childhood, but instead an act of discovering something unfamiliar, in the same way that the clicks of the rotary phone must be unfamiliar to a younger generation.  Of course, there will probably be some time in the future when films of people moving their fingers on tablet screens will seem like some strange, archaic practice, leaving one thinking, "how odd and old-fashioned."

"That's all."