SLR screening and a debate on the web, voyeurism and selfies


Last week I attended the screening at Lighthouse of a BFI short film, SLR – a dark, troubling thriller about voyeurism, social media, selfies and hypocrisy. A heady mix.

Afterwards I chaired a panel with Wendy Grossman, Georgina VossChris Pinchen and the director, Stephen Fingleton.

SLR is a really interesting film – the director described the experience he was trying to create for the viewer as  like “being Cybil Shepherd on a date with Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver”. If he meant uncomfortable, tense and gripping, he got a direct hit on my amygdala.



Image: Stephen Fingleton at the panel. 

I was surprised to learn that few short film directors agree to put their films online, preferring the slower, more rarefied audience that distribution via film festivals allows. Stephen Fingleton, the director had gone for reach, he said, wanting to get SLR seen by as many people as possible.

With 218,000 views and rising when I wrote this, he’s definitely getting a bigger audience for SLR than most short films.

Stephen Fingleton, is an engaging, impressive, talented chap. Speaking with him beforehand and during the panel he was first and foremost impressive as a deep thinker. He’d made a difficult and provocative film about this subject, but was continuing to consider the issues around it.

One of his scripts featured on the Hollywood Blacklist last year – a list of the best screenplays not yet in production. He’s now working on his first feature film – I’ll look forward to that.

The twenty minute film is available to watch online (and is embedded below).

SLR from Stephen Fingleton on Vimeo.

And, if you’re interested in seeing the panel discussion that followed – here’s the video.

Image credits: Still – Driver Films; Photo of Stephen Fingleton, Lighthouse Arts

More new and old media pairing

ZZ03FF51C3More from Writing on the Wall, by Tom Standage, on how old media is often – for a while – enhanced by the new,  rather than being replaced. 

In England in the 1600s, newsletters were distributed about parliamentary and Royal news by mansucript subscription “news letters”. They literally began as letters, which were copied by teams of scribes and sent out – often to be shared in groups, read aloud or copied and passed on again.

Printed newsletters (called “Corantos“)  were largely, at first, about foreign news – partly as a consequence of strict censorship laws. However, some bright sparks in the manuscript trade started included the printed foregin news – the first newspaper supplements, apparently:

But rather than competing, the two forms proved complementary. Corantos could be enclosed within manuscript news letters as they circulated, providing printed foreign news alongside the handwritten domestic sort. Letters from this period contain abundant references to printed material […] entire transcribed copies of them and, on several occasions, the printed corantos themselves. Coratnos were printed versions of what were originally manuscript documents, and the information they contained was in turn recycled into manuscript news networks.

There have always been news networks – and there have always been social networks bound up in them.

Image credit: (cc) Wikipedia