Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Count backwards from 100...."

This is the way the internet works. This is the way information flows here in the 21st Century.

A Bob Dylan fan, I was looking around on the web site, Expecting Rain (if you like Dylan you should click on that and bookmark it) and was looking at the responses to a thread I'd started earlier.

That thread, "She's got everything she needs...." looked at Dylan's influence on the culture by watching it filter down to people like us. I listed 15 or so Youtube videos in which people with guitars recorded themselves performing Dylan's "She Belongs To Me." The versions ranged from very good to very not.

I do a version myself; I came up with this odd way of playing it, fretting it from the top, like a dulcimer. My friend Jeff, who is learning to play guitar, asked me if he could videotape me playing a few songs he wanted to learn. A few days later he told me he'd put a couple of them up on Youtube.

I have arrived.

And I digress.

I snuck my own performance in toward the bottom of the list on that thread and wondered if anyone would find it.

No one did. But one post claimed, "If you want to see something really brilliant..." and posted a link to Peter Bradshaw's film blog at the UK paper, The Guardian who wrote that he was alerted to the video by Philip French of The Observer.

And so it goes.

Bradshaw writes:

The quest for the greatest ever clip on YouTube is over! With tears of emotion, I have watched "100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers." It is an inspired collage, lasting nine minutes and 28 seconds, composed of tiny movie-clips, with fragments of dialogue, simply quoting every number in countdown from 100 to 1: a mind-blowing effort of archive research, somehow trivial and monumental at the same time. The effect is brilliant, hilarious, even weirdly moving. The final ten clips have a tension and a crescendo of their own, as you try to guess what they're going to be. I should have sussed the final one, but I didn't. It functions as a mini-masterpiece on its own terms and also as the basis of a fantastic pub quiz round, in which contestants have to identify each clip.

Its creator is a Mr Alonzo Mosley who describes himself as a 34-year-old librarian from Jacksonville, Florida. I have already sent him an awestruck fanmail through the YouTube site. Let's hope the meanies who work in copyright law do not put the mockers on this because it is so fantastic. I have been watching it on a continuous loop all day. Stop what you're doing and watch it right now! This is why the internet was invented!

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