Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review / Rant: CODEX

Directed by Micah Bloom
40 mins.  Color.
Live at the Trylon Microcinema, Monday June 24th and Tuesday June 25th

Micah Bloom's CODEX is a love letter to books.  In fact, it's basically forty minutes of beautiful images of books devastated by the 2011 flood that hit Minot, North Dakota.

That being said, it's also deeply thought provoking.

The physical and textile nature of paper books is an art form that, like the movies we review and love at this site, is slowly dying.  The bindings, cover-art and paper quality profoundly change your experience as a reader.  As all forms of media become more digitally based, the art form of the construction of books dies with it.  Bloom explores this with carefully constructed sequences of technicians cataloging and studying books, as if they are already meant for archaeological digs.

When reviewing movies at this site, we always comment on the art on the box of the film, the construction of special features, quality of transfers and different versions of the boxes because we love the idea of owning pieces of art.  Books are the same way.  With ownership, you have the ability to share and sell that piece as you choose.  You can underline passages and dog-ear important pages.  You have a visual memory of an idea that was in print.  The agency of ownership makes you a part of a cycle, and allows room for the viewer to experience it as he or she wishes.  With digital media, there is no displaying the beauty of a bound book.  There is no loaning that book to a friend.  There is no ownership.  It's completely temporary.

CODEX is simple, but it's implications are complex.  The printing press changed the world.  The digital age is doing the same.

- J. Moret

Micah Bloom will be present at the Trylon Microcinema for all shows on both Monday and Tuesday.


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