Ideal viewing over the weekend: China Tracy's art project mentioned here recently hit the SL machinima stream, and it's beautiful, meditative, sometimes sardonic, but ultimately moving and hopeful. As a movie, you may see the influence of Wong Kar-Wai and Wim Wenders, among other world class directors. Nearly a half hour in total length, it plays out in three separate but thematically-related parts. Part I is an introductory montage to Second Life, and it lingers on both the beauty and the excesses of virtual capitalism that also make the metaverse a consumerist sprawl.
The equally amazing Part II and Part III reviewed after the break...
Part II is largely a love story with a plot twist that won't surprise longtime Residents, though it's lovely for it all the same. (The loosely translated subtitles are a touch distracting, as are some "off" animations-- though I suspect they were kept in the final edit intentionally, to show the struggle for real engagement when, for example, our avatars can't even realistically serenade each other.)
Part III is my personal favorite-- it features a distanced but humane montage of avatars, diverse in all their characteristics and interests:
It reminds me of a closing section of Godfrey Reggio's classic Koyaanisqatsi, but with less irony, and more warmth. Overall, "i. Mirror" complements Douglas Gayeton's "My Second Life", and it's fascinating to see established filmmakers approach Second Life as a medium and a subject-- both excited by its transformative potential, while just as wary that it'll change us in fundamental ways, not all of them positive. (Or in China Tracy's case, that it won't transform us enough.)