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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tokyo Reverse (SlowTV)

Tokyo Reverse (1st April 2014, France4, France Télévision) full 9h video on YT
9 hours of SlowTV from 15h00 to 24h00

Shot in separate portions around Tokyo, in various places (this is a fake "live and continuous" plan sequence patched up together afterward), the camera records in forward motion with the man walking backward in the street. During broadcasting the footage is played in reverse and appears to make all bystanders and cars to go backward in the city. Because of this "trick", the contemplation isn't "pure". The artificial concept adds a cerebral meaning to the actual footage, therefore turning a contemplative promenade into a filmic experience more complex, formally more sophisticated, with a comedic touch. But if we ignore this peculiar contraption (dispositif), we could look at this as a contemplative immersion, like the original SlowTV experiment it is based on : the  7h½ train ride, and the 134h cruise ship ride in Norway (see previous post : Contemplative TV Cruise)
On broadcast, the experience for the viewers was made more interactive, #tokyoreverse, with the Twitter account of the walking man (in fact the film director @SimonBouisson) being updated "live" (in hindsight) to show his thoughts when he appears to text on his phone, or publish his photos when he takes photos on the video with a passerby.
However, the spectacle wasn't nearly as successful in France, on national TV, as it was in Norway. Scoring an audience average of 29,000  (0.2% of TV audience for this timeslot).

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