Monday, August 3, 2015

Super 8: The movie, the medium

The Super 8 camera -- the home-movie technology so popular from the '60s through the '80s - was like the portable typewriter in the era of the heavy electric machine. For the likes of filmmakers from Steven Spielberg to Steven Soderbergh to M. Night Shyamalan to JJ Abrams (whose "Super 8," a very sweet sci-fi film set in the early 1980s, opens today) Super 8 was the amateur technology that helped them become professionals.

Super 8: The movie, the medium

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The Super 8 camera -- the home-movie technology so popular from the '60s through the '80s - was like the portable typewriter in the era of the heavy electric machine. For the likes of filmmakers from Steven Spielberg to Steven Soderbergh to M. Night Shyamalan to JJ Abrams (whose "Super 8," a sweet sci-fi film set in the early 1980s, opens today) Super 8 was the amateur technology that helped them become professionals.

Super 8 movies have an intimacy, a color spectrum and a homemade quality that provoke all kind of emotional responses, some of them mentioned in Elizabeth Weingarten's lovely article from Slate.

Like the whirr of a rotary phone, the clack of manual typewriter keys and the needle drop on vinyl recordings, Super 8 is the subject of nostalgic reveries. What qualities of Super 8 play your emotional chords? And are you looking forward to the Abrams film?

Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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